Sharpe, Jabari Walker earn Blazers a “D” grade
Charles Curtis of USA Today’s For the Win was not a fan of either of Portland’s picks in 2022 – Shaedon or Jabari Walker. The Blazers’ class ranked 23rd out of 30 NBA teams, according to Curtis, calling Sharpe “a head-scratcher of a pick.”
“Sharpe could be a star … but that could be in a few years,” Curtis wrote. “The Blazers are trying to win now with Damian Lillard coming back from injury, so wouldn’t you want a player more ready? Maybe Sharpe is and we’re all wrong, but that seemed weird.”
Honestly, none of that analysis is wrong, per se. It may have been a head-scratcher to take someone as inexperienced as Shaedon with a top-10 pick, it may take him a few years to be a star and the Blazers were trying to win immediately with Lillard, all of which could have made someone question the selection of a player like Sharpe.
Maybe it was, in fact, “weird.”
However, it’s also fair to say that he exceeded all those expectations and showed he could become a star sooner rather than later. Maybe it won’t take years.
As things shook out, the fact that Sharpe was raw and not ready for the NBA didn’t prove to be a detriment to a team that ended the season tanking anyway. Now, the Blazers have a potential superstar on their hands who may be in line for a breakout season, and he just so happens to be playing with this year’s lottery pick – another potential star – as Portland moves on from Lillard and into a rebuild.
It’s safe to say the Trail Blazers’ decision to grab Sharpe with the No. 7 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft was a wise one, despite what analysts had to say at the time.