Shaedon Sharpe is one of the most mysterious and most intoxicating prospects in the 2022 NBA Draft. The dynamic 6-foot-6, 200-pound guard from Canada attended the University of Kentucky but never actually played in a game for the Wildcats. In the latest ESPN mock draft, Sharpe gets picked sixth overall by the Portland Trail Blazers. The San Antonio Spurs will most likely draft ninth overall. Would the Spurs pick Sharpe if he’s still on the board? I think it’s very unlikely — for reasons I will lay out in this scouting report.
Strengths: The Case For Shaedon Sharpe
Shaedon Sharpe was the No. 1 ranked prospect in his class before he decided to reclassify and go to Kentucky a year early. The main reason why he was such a highly-regarded prospect coming out of high school is his jumper. His shot is truly a thing of beauty.
Everything about Sharpe’s jumper is picture-perfect. He gets ample elevation, his release is quick, his mechanics are pristine and each shot looks identical. Even when he’s on the move or picking the ball up off the dribble, he can release a beautiful jumper in the blink of an eye.
Sharpe is also a really good run and jump athlete. He’s an explosive leaper with a powerful build. It’s not hyperbolic to state that Sharpe has the coordination and fluidity of an NBA star.
Youth is also on Sharpe’s side. He turns 19 years old shortly before the draft. He’s relatively early in his growth curve as a basketball player, which increases the vastness of his potential.
Add together all his strengths and Sharpe is the best shooting prospect in the draft and the prospect with the highest ceiling in terms of his scoring ability.
Weaknesses: The Case Against Shaedon Sharpe
The circumstances that led to Sharpe sitting out a year while enrolled at Kentucky are, at best, murky. Most individuals in the scouting community believe that Sharpe’s camp never intended for him to play at Kentucky and just used the program as a way to keep his name in the lights without potentially damaging his draft stock by actually playing basketball. Sharpe is regarded as a quiet, respectful kid but there are questions regarding his competitiveness and the advice he’s been given by those around him.
Basketball-wise, Sharpe basically didn’t play defense at the high school level. While that’s not unusual for such a standout scoring prospect playing against high school competition, the extent to which he didn’t care on that end of the court was palpable when watching his tape. While he flashed playmaking ability and was never obnoxiously selfish, Sharpe’s offensive repertoire is rudimentary when it comes to anything other than putting the ball in the basket.
Athletically, Sharpe’s not especially quick for someone his size; his first step has never been a notable strength of his. Then again, with as well as he can shoot it, his ability to drive the ball hasn’t been tested much. That will change in the NBA, obviously, but so far his jumper has been able to bail him out of any difficult situations he has found himself in.
Shaedon Sharpe’s 2022 NBA Draft Outlook
Unless more character red flags surface, Sharpe appears to be destined to go in the top ten. Mostly likely, he’ll go fourth, fifth or sixth by the time it’s all said and done, I estimate. His high-end shooting and scoring outcomes are too enticing for him to drop much further than that.
Shaedon Sharpe and his Fit on the San Antonio Spurs
“I can guarantee you Shaedon Sharpe isn’t that high on San Antonio’s draft board.” When I showed my Spurs Big Board 1.0 to a scout who works for an Eastern Conference team, that was his first comment to me. I had Sharpe ranked seventh, although I’ll be dropping him on the next edition of the Spurs Big Board.
The more I hear how resentful many scouts are about how Sharpe handled his year at Kentucky, the more I believe he’s not going to be a player the Spurs select in the draft. Even if he falls to San Antonio’s selection, nothing about his background makes me think he’s the type of player the Spurs would target. The Spurs go for players who show competitive in the pre-draft process (that’s why, for example, San Antonio practically always pick players who participate in pre-draft camps). Picking Sharpe, a player who appears to be actively hiding from competition to preserve his elevated draft stock, would be the antithesis of what the Spurs usually do.