The Portland Trail Blazers have been the subject of many hot rumors ahead of the 2022 NBA draft. Orlando Magic, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets have the best choices, but the consensus on the three players to be chosen is quite strong. Only the final order remains to be determined. By the time the Blazers are in 7th place, the lottery table is like the Wild West: everything is going and who knows what will happen.
Most of Portland’s story is about trade in choice. With the needs of serious front squares and a short timeframe to meet them, Blazers should look for high-quality, veteran help, one that a mid-lottery option could offer through trade. But yesterday, a new rumor arose that the Portland office was inclined to maintain the mysterious phenomenon of Shaedon Sharpe’s choice of draft. Damian Lillard’s nod of approval seemed to confirm the statement, which is now the subject of today’s Blazer Edge Mailbag.
Are Sharpe’s reports true? I can’t believe Blazers will get him on BPA, right? Is he still BPA? Does anyone really know?
We divide the factors:
1. Does the Blazers make a draw for themselves?
I’m not convinced. Remember that Sharpe’s attractiveness is one of the many rumors surrounding the club. I do not consider it more or less reliable than the trade recommendations we have heard before. However, given the situation in Portland, I think the exchange is much more likely.
Even if they don’t have a contract, it is possible that Blazers will choose Sharpe as their future commercial feed if they get stuck in their choice. He is 18 years old, inexperienced, has a high ceiling and has a lot of rumble around him. In this scenario, it is assumed that it will take 2-3 years to develop. If he doesn’t fall completely, the “best until” date for his merchandise should be longer than your average lottery selection, many of whom are in comfortable, non-star roles in the meantime.
They will not choose him unless, of course, they realize the promise. But when they see the ceiling and the way to get there. it would not be a bad high risk / high reward gear. In essence, they would define “Best Available Player” as “the highest ceiling and long-term value.”
2. Can Sharpe be played?
All we know is that Sharpe can play ball. You will not be mentioned in this post unless you are proven if your abilities are elsewhere in the world. It has a good height per guard and a large extension of its wings. He is a real athlete. Give him a seam and he’ll hit.
Creating seams against NBA defenders, learning distance and defense, and coping with the speed of professional play is a challenge for Sharpe. My intuition says he’s going to be a “hiccup” newcomer, with some performances that put ESPN in the middle of an overall adjustment.
If you want to take a closer look at Sharpe, you can see Steve Dewald’s draft of his profile and SBNation’s Ricky O’Donnell article on his development.
3. Does Sharpe fit?
Blazers could be in the right tactical place to take Sharpe’s learning curve. They start with Damian Lillardi and Anfernee Simons. It doesn’t leave 30 minutes per game for a newcomer to stumble through. Sharpe’s minutes would be purposeful, his role would suit his abilities.
“Score 10 and try to learn the game” is an anemic job description for the average lottery beginner, but it’s an exciting opportunity for your offensive bench guard. And who could play better in this than Lillard and Simons, who are too two of the best offensive guards? The Blazers shouldn’t change much for Sharpe. It’s high octane and the green light all the way … is perfect for his abilities.
The big question is whether the Blazers are in the right place for Sharpe’s strategic drafting. Here you can enter a familiar story about Damian Lillard, 32. They need help now, not four years from now. They need guaranteed production, not high risk, especially from a backyard player.
It’s also Josh Hart, who, of course, plays a shooting guard who has to swallow minutes in the backfield and who offers much more comprehensive support than Sharpe can hope for at this stage. The creation and maintenance of Sharpe could be expected to preclude the maintenance of the Charter in Portland. He would be available to trade, but would this series of moves really be better than keeping and selecting a well-developed veteran or trading away from a newcomer?
4. Does Lillard want him?
We’ll talk more about that in tomorrow’s Dave and Dia Podcast, but I think it’s almost the electrical noise that went through the NBA’s social media yesterday when Lillard and Sharpe were connected.
I’m not in Lillard’s head, and I’m more than ready to be corrected here.
Do I believe Damian Lillard considers Sharpe to be a great athlete with potential as a star? Yes. The game recognizes the game. Lillard also called Donovan Mitchell in 2017. This would not be the first time.
Do I think that means Sharpe, even Lillard? Less so. It feels to me like a father walking with kids to the mall and saying, “It’s a beautiful tie.” The children understand that Dad likes neckwear and voila! He gets 32 ties for Father’s Day, just from a random comment.
I don’t think Lillard would be upset if Blazers took over Sharpe, at least not because of the internal quality of any newcomer. I think he, like all of us, would be prepared to consider other alternatives. I find this alleged link to be one of the least convincing reasons why Blazers would fly a flyer at Sharpe on Draft Day.
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