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Shaedon Sharpe: Risk Worth Taking?

Sharpe could be the No. 7 overall pick for the Blazers.

2022 NBA Draft Combine Circuit Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

Possibly the biggest question mark in the NBA Draft is Canadian guard Shaedon Sharpe.

The 6-5 guard has all the physical tools on paper needed to be a dynamic playmaker in the NBA, but there isn’t a whole lot of on-court proof.

Sharpe was relatively unheard of before showcasing his skills in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League, where he caught the attention of many and skyrocketed up recruiting ranks up until he was the No. 1 high school prospect playing amateur basketball.

Sharpe committed to the Kentucky Wildcats and enrolled a semester early, joining the team this past January after enrolling at the school.

However, with his draft eligibility looming, Sharpe opted to rest during the spring semester and never suited up for the Wildcats. Having been given strong feedback from NBA scouts, Sharpe elected to keep his name eligible in the draft despite not playing any collegiate basketball.

His lack of in-game tape against quality opponents has doubts painted over his placement in this year’s draft. Sharpe has worked out for a handful of lottery teams, including the Orlando Magic, who hold the No. 1 pick, and the Portland Trail Blazers, who hold the No. 7 pick.

If he’s available at No. 7, Sharpe will be one of the top prospects available for the Blazers to choose, but should the team take the risk?

Sharpe probably has the biggest boom vs. bust range in the entire draft, meaning he has one of the highest ceilings and one of the lowest floors of any prospect. Taking Sharpe would be an absolute roll of the dice.

The Blazers are in a precarious position. While they should look for the best player available and try to nab a potential All-Star with their pick, wasting this selection could be catastrophic for the franchise longterm.

Sharpe also might not provide the best fit next to Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons.

So while Sharpe could have the best career out of anyone in the class, given where the Blazers are as a team and the importance of nailing this pick, Sharpe should probably be passed onto a team who can afford to take more of a risk.