Portland Trail Blazers guard Shaedon Sharpe has had an impressive start to his rookie campaign, averaging 9.4 points on 51.2 percent shooting off the bench. More than the numbers themselves, though, he’s putting them up in explosive style.
Sharpe’s athleticism and scoring have garnered national attention. The 19-year-old may not be in position to compete for Rookie of the Year honors, but, in CBS Sports’ latest week-by-week rookie rankings, he places among the expected pack at an unexpected No. 4.
Here is what Jasmyn Wimbish had to say:
Sharpe’s been a necessary spark plug off the bench for a Blazers team that has been pleasantly surprising to start the season. He’s the exact type of versatile player you want on Portland’s roster, capable of getting points off-ball, has freakish athleticism to finish hard at the rim and gives you all out effort when he’s on the floor. Against the Hornets he finished with 17 points on 7 of 10 from the field, and posted a plus-30 point differential for the game, the highest of anyone on the team.
He’s an elite cutter, has a smooth jumper, is capable of scoring off the bounce and has the athleticism and fearlessness to challenge just about anybody at the rim. He’s carved out a role for himself with Portland and has been a key in the Blazers hot start to the season.
Sharpe has scored double figures in each of the four contests in which he has played at least 25 minutes, averaging 13.5 points. This includes three starts in the absence of Damian Lillard (calf). While a starting role is not anticipated for Sharpe this season, that scoring output compare favorably to the likes of Detroit Pistons rookie guard Jaden Ivey (No. 2 on this list), who is averaging 15.4 points in 31.7 minutes per game, and is generally considered to be top-3 in his class.
We are beginning to see great things from Sharpe, which is not entirely surprising but certainly welcome this early on. Will he make next week’s rankings? Only the top-5 rookie performers are included. Check them out here, and stay tuned to see where and if Sharpe places in the future.