After NBA trade season comes NBA tank season, and beginning on Feb. 9, the Portland Trail Blazers will be one of a handful of teams more focused on developing young players than winning games.
Unfortunately, one of the most critical young players Portland needs to develop likely won't get that chance.
Trail Blazers guard Shaedon Sharpe to undergo surgery, may miss rest of 2023-24 season
Portland's 20-year-old guard is set to undergo core muscle surgery, the team announced on Feb. 6.
Sharpe hadn't played since exiting the Blazers' 62-point loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Jan. 11, but he was ramping up for a return before experiencing a setback.
Surgery is planned for later this week with a timetable to be determined after. However, the recovery for this type of surgery is about six weeks, per Sean Highkin of The Rose Garden Report (subscription required). That would put Sharpe's potential return in mid-to-late March with only a few weeks left of the regular season.
It would make little sense to bring Shaedon back at that point and run the risk of another injury.
The No. 7 pick in the 2022 draft experienced some rapid growth at the beginning of this season, jumping from 9.9 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 22.2 minutes per game his rookie season to averages of 18.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 37.1 minutes with shooting splits of 43/37/82 through 22 games this year.
Once Anfernee Simons returned from thumb surgery, Sharpe's role, minutes and production decreased. This injury popped up shortly after and may bring his season to an early end.
Still, Sharpe's jump from last year to this year is extremely promising. A successful surgery and a healthy offseason should have Blazers fans excited to see what 2024-25 will bring from Shaedon.