What’s Shaedon Sharpe? Future bust? Future celebrity? Function participant? Sharpe is the enigma of this Thursday’s draft. He could possibly be many alternative things, maybe just a few on the similar time. The one factor we all know for certain is he’s going to be a Lottery decide. However, Sharpe has been projected to go within the Prime 10 in virtually each mock draft accessible. The uncooked potential, measurement, athleticism, and even the thriller, make Sharpe probably the most intriguing participant coming into the 2022-2023 NBA season.
The 19-year-old, 6-foot-6 phenom from Canada sat out his whole freshman season with Kentucky on account of mysterious eligibility circumstances. Many thought Sharpe would return to the courtroom as soon as he returned to the Wildcats’ practices. Nonetheless, that was put to relaxation by Kentucky head coach John Calipari.
“I’ve informed his dad and mom that I’m not going to place him ready the place he hurts himself,” mentioned Calipari. “I’m not. And we’re going to do that, the method of this, and if he finally ends up taking part in this 12 months as a result of he’s able to doing it and he can play, we’ll play him. However I’m not simply shoving him in so we are able to win one other game or keep nearer. I’m not going to do this.”
It was by no means actually defined what the hell was occurring. And most people, outdoors of NBA insiders, won’t ever know. So what do now we have to take a look at for what Sharpe could be within the NBA?
Throughout Sharpe’s senior 12 months at Arizona’s Dream Metropolis Christian, he was ranked No. 1 in his class by ESPN, 247Sports, and Rivals. Therefore, the hype round him, as he was solely the second No 1 five-star recruit to decide on Kentucky, after Nerlens Noel in 2013.
The Canadian is another in a long line of excellent players coming from our northern neighbors, starting with Steve Nash and continuing with R.J. Barrett, Andrew Wiggins, Jamal Murray, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Dillon Brooks, and Lu Dort. By entering this year’s draft, Sharpe is riding the wave of his abstraction. If he were to go back to college and get hurt or show that he’s not as pro-ready as we all thought he was, his stock would plummet. Even with zero collegiate tape to review, he’s destined to be a lottery pick.
Outside of the college game, Sharpe averaged 22.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 36.1 percent from 3 on the Nike EYBL circuit in 2021, per Cerebro Sports. While competing in the international elite prep basketball circuit, The Grind Session, he averaged 18.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.4 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game.
Physically, Sharpe is the whole package — he possesses a lightning-quick first step, a penchant for excelling downhill, and a dynamic toolset to finish around the rim. Scouts marveled during the combine at his improved ball-handling, pull-up jump shot, and accuracy from the three-point line. The downside is none of these observations occurred during a regular NCAA season. Even more critical is the NCAA Tournament. We have yet to see how Sharpe performs on the biggest stages during crunch time. Dominating in high school is still just high school.
There are clear red flags that would make his fit in Detroit or any of the developing teams in the top seven worrisome. There have been critiques of his motor dating back to high school. Scouts have described Sharpe as bored and uninterested on defense, terrible qualifiers for a kid who has all the physical gifts to be a two-way stud. Effort is unteachable. You either have it, or you don’t. It’s not something that suddenly changes once you begin playing against the best players in the world.
If he were to land in Detroit or Sacramento, two of the most-likely situations barring trades, he would be joining teams with long histories of losing. While Detroit has fared better than Sacramento recently in draft selections and player development, Sharpe would at least be playing next to a pure point guard in Cade Cunningham. This could be the best-case scenario for the young prodigy. If the ball were out of his hands, it would be easier to acclimate Sharpe into head coach Dwayne Casey’s system. Cunningham is a great facilitator, even as a rookie this year. He also dealt with motor issues in college but has proven to be ready for the bright lights of the NBA grind.
The Pistons are growing something special in Detroit and doing it at a slow-and-steady pace. Sharpe could be the three-level scorer their roster needs to act as a shot of adrenaline on offense. And playing next to the steady hand of Cunningham would give the Pistons a larger-than-life backcourt that could grow and mold together, as the team builds toward being more than an unknown quantity. It’s a situation that can lift an enigma to the light to inspect it for what it is and can be.