Following a successful week-and-a-half to kickstart his NBA career, positive reviews describing Shaedon Sharpe’s play have come in abundance. Sharpe, who is currently in the middle of a three-game streak of double-digit scoring, drew some praise during The Athletic NBA Show this week, with Sean Highkin of The Rose Garden Report joining to share some anecdotes on how the No. 7 pick is progressing.
Of note is one point Highkin made about how Sharpe is already beginning to exceed the expectations, thanks in large part to how quickly he picks up on schemes and direction from the Portland Trail Blazers’ players and staff.
Highkin first brings up how multifaceted the players Portland has brought around Damian Lillard are — think Josh Hart and Jerami Grant — before offering that Sharpe has become a pleasant surprise in how productive he’s been from day one, particularly since his pre-Draft situation made him somewhat of a high-upside mystery. Though, as he notes:
“That was a situation where I thought it might take like half a season for him to actually get in the rotation, but he’s the second … Justise Winslow’s the first guy off the bench, but he’s the second most nights.”
From there, Highkin pulled back the curtain on what he had heard about Sharpe at the Blazers’ training camp regarding the excitement surrounding him, even as he rehabbed from his shoulder injury from the Summer League.
“Everything that I heard about him, whether it be from training camp down in Santa Barbara or practices or after some of these preseason games — he’s apparently one of the fastest learners that any of these guys have ever been around. He comes into a practice and doesn’t know a set, you explain something to him once or twice and then just *snaps* got it.”
The rest of Highkin’s assessment aligns with the way that many other Blazers observers view him: he hasn’t looked out of place or uncomfortable in any situations. He also correctly predicted Sharpe’s eventual start against Houston.
Over the rest of the podcast, he hits on multiple topics ranging from the sustainability of the Blazers’ defensive effort thus far, how they’ve defended without fouling, how Sharpe’s development has added to Chauncey Billups’ coaching resources, and how the Blazers’ hot start could help ease in Gary Payton II’s return, among much else. The link to that can be found above.