Portland Trail Blazers guard Shaedon Sharpe is listed at No. 7 on the first release of the Kia Rookie Ladder. This puts the 19-year-old one spot behind Detroit Pistons center Jalen Duren and one spot ahead of San Antonio Spurs forward Jeremy Sochan.
While about what you might expect and hope for from the No. 7 overall pick, Sharpe’s placement is still encouraging to see, as he has been able to have an immediate impact for his team off the bench.
Sharpe is averaging 8.3 points per game while shooting 46.0 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from three, eclipsing double-digit scoring in four of seven outings thus far. His minutes continue to ramp up in the absence of Damian Lillard (calf).
It is still very early in Sharpe’s career, though he has drawn comparisons to both Brandon Roy and Vince Carter from Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups (H/T: Aaron Fentress, The Oregonian)
“It’s crazy that I say this, but I honestly think he reminds me some of Brandon Roy, to be honest with you,” Billups said. “By way of how smooth he is and Brandon was a lot more athletic than he got credit for. (Sharpe) gets to his spots. You really don’t speed him up. He does, he reminds me a lot of Brandon. But he reminds me also a little bit of Vince Carter. Just his athleticism, his smoothness, his gracefulness. So, obviously those are big time players and Vince is going to be a Hall of Famer. But he has this type of potential.”
Resembling either of those players would be a tremendous honor for Sharpe individually and a huge boon for Portland on the court. But Sharpe is something new. What exactly that is will be determined over the weeks, months, and years to come.
Check in periodically for more updates on Sharpe’s positioning among the league’s rookie rankings.