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Blazers SG Shaedon Sharpe: Starting Lineup’s ‘Weakest Link’?

Shaedon Sharpe is the youngest member of the Portland Trail Blazers starting lineup, but does that make him the weakest?

2023 NBA Summer League - Portland Trail Blazers v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers starting lineup, as currently constructed, boasts a lot of talent.

With Damian Lillard, Anfernee Simons, Shaedon Sharpe, Jerami Grant and Jusuf Nurkić as the projected starting five if the season started today, there’s not many flaws that are glaring.

However, Bleacher Report contributor Andy Bailey identified each team’s weakest link in the starting lineup and chose Sharpe.

The Portland Trail Blazers are in flux for the moment. If Lillard’s trade request is honored before training camp, the starting five could look dramatically different.

If not, the projected starting lineup is actually pretty heavy on experience. And Portland was a decent plus-2.1 points per 100 possessions when Lillard, Simons, Grant and Nurkić were on the floor last season (it’s plus-6.3 with Lillard and Nurkić over their six and a half seasons together).

The one question mark (at least in the short term) is Sharpe, who had unremarkable rebound, assist, steal and block rates as a rookie.

But even Sharpe could be a potential breakout candidate with or without Lillard. Over his last 10 games in 2022-23, he averaged 23.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists, while shooting 37.8 percent from deep.

Sure, Sharpe may not have had the greatest rookie season, but the potential is definitely there. Once he was given a larger role, more conducive to the size he will eventually have year-in and year-out, he will only continue to thrive.

Still only 20 years old, Sharpe’s best basketball is far ahead of him, and the Blazers could look to showcase more of that this season, especially if a certain someone is traded before the start of the year.