Trail Blazers’ Shaedon Sharpe finally gets some deserved recognition

Shaedon Sharpe, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Amanda Loman/Getty Images)
Shaedon Sharpe, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Amanda Loman/Getty Images) /

Shaedon Sharpe was the seventh overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. The Portland Trail Blazers decided to take a major swing on a raw prospect who hadn’t played a competitive basketball game since his senior year of high school.

Sharpe’s season stats don’t jump off the page, but he showed flashes of otherworldly athleticism and multi-level scoring in the limited minutes and opportunities he received.

Then, when the Blazers season was all but over and the franchise shut down its core players, the 19-year-old guard exploded in the final weeks.

He was never in the conversation alongside the best rookies of 2022-23, perhaps fairly so given his restricted role and less-impressive stat line, but he proved his ceiling is just as high.

Shaedon Sharpe received NBA All-Rookie Second Team votes

The NBA announced the 2022-23 Kia NBA All-Rookie first and second teams on May 8, and Sharpe finally got some well-deserved recognition; although he didn’t make either squad, he did receive a chunk of votes for the second team.

Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero was named the NBA Rookie of the Year earlier this postseason, and joining him on the rest of the All-Rookie first team were Utah Jazz center Walker Kessler, Indiana Pacers guard Bennedict Mathurin, Sacramento Kings forward Keegan Murray, and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen Williams.

Detroit Pistons center Jalen Duren, Houston Rockets forward Tari Eason, Detroit Pistons guard Jaden Ivey, Houston Rockets forward Jabari Smith Jr., and San Antonio Spurs forward Jeremy Sochan made up the second team.

Sharpe was listed behind Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard on the “other players receiving votes list” for the second team. Shaedon picked up 36 All-Rookie second team votes, surely because of his stellar finish to the season.

The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 9.9 points, 1.2 assists, and 3.0 rebounds on 47/36/71 shooting splits for the season, but those numbers jumped to 23.7 points, 4.2 assists, and 5.8 rebounds per game over the final 10 contests.

For reference, Banchero averaged 20.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in his ROY campaign.

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Sharpe will almost assuredly see an increased role next season, regardless of what the Blazers front office decides to do with the roster this summer, and he deserves it.