With the seventh overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, the Portland Trail Blazers selected Shaedon Sharpe out of the University of Kentucky.
The 19-year-old guard had reportedly caught the eyes of the Trail Blazers in the days approaching the draft following a strong pre-draft workout with the team. On top of that, Damian Lillard had grown to be a fan of the kid and what he could offer straight out the gate to start his career. A recent ESPN report states that Lillard is “high” on Sharpe after seeing his workout.
Sharpe has tremendous potential to develop into an offensive threat. He posses a great frame at 6-foot-6, and with the strength he has, he excels at finishing through contact on his sheer ability to elevate above defenders. Like all guards to start their career, there will certainly be a learning curve when attempting to handle NBA defenses and the way they react to your play.
There does not seem to be some immediate concern when discussing Sharpe’s arsenal at such an early age. While still developing his ball handling and ability to create for himself, Sharpe shows the potential to be a true threat on the next level. As far as improvement areas for Sharpe in the long run, improving his first step is one of main things the Blazers staff could look to focus on.
After joining his Kentucky team mid-season, Sharpe logged no minutes in his collegiate career leaving a lot of questions to be answered about how his game will translate against an elevated talent pool. The framework for a high production talent is there but it is a matter of tapping into that untapped potential.
All signs point to Sharpe being the focal point of the Trail Blazers Summer League roster. Portland will open Summer League play on July 7th against the Detroit Pistons.