Portland Trail Blazers guard Shaedon Sharpe is slowly ingratiating himself into the NBA game.
As an 18-year-old rookie who never played at the collegiate level, Sharpe is about as raw of a prospect as there is in the NBA right now, but he’s also one of the most talented.
Playing in a backcourt with dynamic playmakers like Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons, it can be easy to get lost. But Sharpe has caught ESPN’s attention, ranking 11th in their rookie power rankings.
Here’s what they had to write about Sharpe:
Sharpe has been able to carve out more playing time than expected for an ambitious Portland team trying to maximize the prime years of Damian Lillard, ranking top 10 in both minutes played and scoring. He has had highs and lows as expected considering he sat out last season and missed much of his senior year of high school because of an injury. Shooting 38% from beyond the arc, Sharpe’s shotmaking ability has been as advertised, be it off screens, pulling up in transition, relocating off pump-fakes or hitting difficult step-backs.
However, ESPN also notes that Sharpe has room to improve.
He’s still figuring out the nuances of creating higher-percentage opportunities for himself and others and getting to the free throw line more often, and he has not shown much yet as a passer. Defensively is where Sharpe has the most room to grow, which isn’t surprising considering his lack of experience. His intensity comes and goes, and he struggles to be effective off the ball, falling asleep more than you’d hope. How much Sharpe can grow in these areas will help determine how he’s viewed going into next season, but he has already shown considerable promise.
To read the full rookie power rankings, click here.