Loads of sizzling rumors have adopted the Portland Path Blazers within the lead-up to the 2022 NBA Draft. The Orlando Magic, Oklahoma Metropolis Thunderand Houston Rockets have the prime picks, however the consensus is fairly sturdy on the three gamers who shall be chosen there. Solely the ultimate order stays to be decided. By the point the Blazers draft within the seventh place, the lottery board shall be just like the Wild West: something goes, and who is aware of what’s going to occur.
Many of the speak in Portland has surrounded buying and selling the choose. With extreme frontcourt wants and a brief timetable to meet them, the Blazers must be available in the market for high quality, veteran assist, the sort a mid-lottery choose might present by way of commerce. However yesterday a brand new rumor arose, that Portland’s entrance workplace is leaning in the direction of holding the choose to draft mysterious phenom Shaedon Sharpe. A nod of approval from Damian Lillard appeared to bolster the declare, which is now the topic of immediately’s Blazer’s Edge Mailbag.
Are the Sharpe studies actual? I am unable to imagine the Blazers would go for him however BPA, proper? Is he the BPA although? Does anyone actually know?
Let’s break down the components:
1. Are the Blazers drafting for themselves?
I am not satisfied. Needless to say attraction to Sharpe is one in every of many rumors surrounding the membership. I do not discover it any roughly credible than the commerce solutions we heard prior. Given Portland’s scenario, I nonetheless suppose a swap is much extra possible.
Even when they do not have a deal in place, it is attainable the Blazers will draft Sharpe as future commerce bait in the event that they get caught with their very own choose. He is 18, inexperienced, has a excessive ceiling, and loads of buzz surrounds him. Taking 2-3 years to develop is a part of the expectation in that state of affairs. Except he busts utterly, the “finest by” date on his commerce worth his must be longer than your common mid-lottery choose, a lot of whom will settle into comfy, non-star roles within the meantime.
They will not choose him if they do not understand any promise, in fact. But when they’ll see the ceiling and a path to get there. he would not be a foul excessive threat/excessive reward transfer. In essence, they’d be defining “Greatest Participant Obtainable” as “Highest Ceiling and Longest-Time period Worth”.
2. Can Sharpe play?
Every little thing we all know says that Sharpe can ball. You aren’t getting talked about on this place with zero confirmed observe file until your talents are otherworldly. He is bought good peak and nice wingspan for a guard. He is a real athlete. Give him a seam and he will hit paydirt.
Creating seams in opposition to NBA defenders, studying spacing and protection, and dealing with the velocity of the skilled recreation will all be challenges for Sharpe. My intestine says he will be a “hiccup” rookie, with just a few performances that make ESPN amid a basic battle to adapt.
3. Does Sharpe match?
The Blazers may very well be in the precise place, tactically, to soak up Sharpe’s studying curve. They’ll begin Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons. That does not go away half-hour per recreation for a rookie to stumble by. Sharpe ‘s minutes can be focused, his position his suited to his capability his.
“Rating 10 and attempt to study the sport” is an anemic job description for a mid-lottery-pick starter, however it’s an thrilling risk on your offense-heavy rookie bench guard. And who higher to play behind in that regard than Lillard and Simons, two of the very best offensive guards within the league? The Blazers would not should shift a lot for Sharpe. It is excessive octane and a inexperienced gentle all the way in which … completely suited to his capability.
The large query is whether or not the Blazers are in the precise place to draft Sharpe strategically. You’ll be able to insert the acquainted trope about Damian Lillard turning 32 right here. They need assistance now, not 4 years from now. They want assured manufacturing, not huge threat, notably from a backcourt participant.
There’s additionally the matter of Josh Hart, who performs taking pictures guard naturally, who’s slated to soak up backcourt minutes, and who will present much more all-around assist than Sharpe can hope to at this stage. One would guess that drafting and holding Sharpe would preclude Portland from retaining Hart. He’d be accessible for trades, however would that collection of strikes actually be superior to holding the well-rounded veteran and buying and selling away the choose or the rookie?
4. Does Lillard need him?
We will discuss this extra in tomorrow’s version of the Dave and Dia Podcast, however I discover the near-electric sizzle that went by NBA social media yesterday as Lillard and Sharpe had been linked amusing.
I’m not in Lillard’s head and I’m greater than keen to be corrected right here.
Do I imagine Damian Lillard regards Sharpe as an excellent athlete with potential for stardom? Sure, I do. Recreation acknowledges recreation. Lillard additionally referred to as Donovan Mitchell in 2017. It would not be the primary time.
Do I imagine meaning Sharpe is the choose, even for Lillard? Much less so. This feels to me like a dad strolling with youngsters within the mall and saying, “That is a pleasant tie.” The children choose up the concept that Dad likes neckwear and, voila! He will get 32 ties for Father’s Day, simply from an off-the-cuff remark.
I do not suppose Lillard can be upset if the Blazers took Sharpe, not less than not for any inside high quality the rookie possesses. I am guessing he, like the remainder of us, would even be keen to think about different alternate options. I discover this purported hyperlink among the many least convincing causes that the Blazers would take a flyer on Sharpe on Draft Day.
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