The era of the traditional big men is no more. The NBA has transitioned from a slow game to a fast guard-driven league. Teams put emphasis on big men who can sprint up the court, like Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Lakers’ Anthony Davis. This is what will ultimately impact the University of North Carolina’s (UNC) Day’Ron Sharpe draft stock. While the 19-year-old doesn’t fit that mold, he is a prospect who can provide depth for teams across the association looking for a traditional center to score in the post and crash the boards.
Day’Ron Sharpe 2021 NBA Draft Profile
Sharpe played under the tutelage of head coach Roy Williams at UNC. The North Carolina native was pivotal to the Tar Heel’s season, averaging 9.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game for a team that saw six different players score over eight points per contest. It’s evident Sharpe isn’t a finished product but he will be an intriguing player for several teams.
While Sharpe didn’t rack up any significant accolades during his one-and-done year with UNC, his debut against College of Charleston was a good demonstration of what he can do best with 13 points and 10 rebounds in a 79–60 win. Sharpe became just the fourth North Carolina player to record a double-double in his debut game — a list that includes Lennie Rosenbluth, Sam Perkins, and Cole Anthony.
Sharpe can put the ball in the basket around the rim. He’s an old-school back-to-the-basket big man who is very strong and intimidating in the post. With a 6-foot-11-inch, 265-pound frame, some may suggest he’s stiff, but Sharpe has skills that allow him to get to his spots and score. Finishing the season with a 51.9 field goal percentage isn’t that impressive, however, the tape shows Sharpe should be a good scorer at the next level.
Rebounding is another strong aspect of Sharpe’s game. In a January matchup against Syracuse, Sharpe dominated the boards, amassing 16 rebounds in the contest. Sharpe grabbed double-digit rebounds eight times this season in only 19.2 minutes per game. The upside as a rebounder is evident.
While there is much to get excited about in Sharpe’s game, there are weaknesses. Most noticeably, Sharpe doesn’t have an outside game. Sharpe sorely lacks in that department in an NBA where big men are expected to step out and hit jumpers. Combine that with a 50% from the free-throw line, and now you might have a massive issue at the next level. Wherever Sharpe lands will demand the big to improve his shooting stroke if he wants to break into a rotation.
NBA Player Comparison
Jahlil Okafor. Okafor was in a different class than Sharpe coming out of college, but both players are limited commodities at the NBA level in 2021. While their games aren’t complete mirror images of one another, Okafor and Sharpe have similar strengths and notable flaws. Okafor is a solid rebounder and has a very nice back-to-the-basket game, with a knack to back down defenders and get good shots at the rim. Similar to Okafor, expect Sharpe to be a solid bench presence that can produce solid backup minutes.
NBA Draft Projection
Late first-round selection.
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