Shaedon Sharpe is one of the more interesting prospects in recent memory. He came into his lone college basketball season as the #3 recruit for the 2022 class as per 24/7 Sports, all just to reclassify in January and join Kentucky. Sharpe then proceeded to not suit up once for the Wildcats at all. There was tons of speculation around injuries and attitude, but nothing was ever confirmed by Kentucky Coach, John Calipari, or the Kentucky Athletic Department. Calipari took to Twitter in February to say:
After talking with Shaedon and his parents, we want to end all of the speculation by again saying that he will not play for us this season.
He is committed to bettering himself and our team in practice this year and being better prepared to lead us next season.
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) February 7, 2022
None of this seems to be stopping Sharpe from jumping up draft boards and for good reason. Who knows? Maybe, he goes back to Kentucky?
Shaedon Sharpe 2022 NBA Draft Profile
Outside of helping his team in practices, and giving out high fives in big moments, there is not much to address in Sharpe’s college career.
When you go down the Youtube rabbit hole to watch prospects and show your friends how much of a draft expert you are, your longest viewing experience will be with Sharpe. The Canadian can flat-out fly. He is an incredibly athletic wing, standing 6’6, with a wingspan of seven feet. With such a big frame, he is likely going to get even stronger as he grows more into his body. At the high school level, he was able to score from all areas of the court, and his shot mechanics look good enough to project as an above-average scorer from all over the court.
No shock to anyone, he will be a raw player coming into whatever lottery team takes him, but his upper echelon athleticism will propel him to score easy points. I believe that defense is all mentality and willpower. His frame and athleticism make him a threat to guard any position on the court, disrupt passing lanes, and block shots. From what I have seen, Sharpe seems to be able to handle the ball well, and create his own shot from the block or fade away to create space. His upside is certainly all there to see from his tapes.
The obvious question mark for Sharpe is the mentality when it comes to basketball. Is the focus, maturity, and intensity there for him to succeed as an NBA player? We never even saw him suit up in college. He has not played competitively since 2021. His lack of experience at an upper level is the main reason he is not higher in this draft. He is the biggest question mark in the draft for all of these reasons. A lot of people that reclassify in high school struggle with the physicality of college. Sharpe will be going through these pains in the NBA. Sharpe gained a notorious reputation in high school for not showing that he cared too much about playing. Ideally, an experienced coach, with a veteran presence in the locker room would be a suitable home for Sharpe.
More tangibly, and towards his basketball game, Sharpe is extremely long and has a difficult time blowing past defenders off the dribble in one on one situations. His lack of competitive play leaves a lot to be questioned about him as a team player. He was able to do everything with such ease in high school that he has never had to assimilate into a role player at a higher level. He will likely suffer from long distance in the NBA, and will not be able to shoot himself into rhythm at the next level.
NBA Player Comparison
Sharpe’s player comparison is a mix between a less-polished Anthony Edwards and a more offensive-minded Kawhi Leonard. These are lofty comparisons for someone who hasn’t played since 2021, but Sharpe is very difficult to compare. He plays his game and isn’t rushed in the way Leonard plays. However, his ferocious athleticism, offensive arsenal, and huge frame remind me of Edwards.
NBA Draft Projection
I would be shocked if he falls past the 10th pick to Washington. Therefore, I see the Pacers taking him #6 overall.