Shaedon Sharpe is one of the bright hopes as the Portland Trail Blazers look towards the future. Blazers fans are understandably ecstatic about the shooting guard’s prospects. They’re not alone, either. Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report recently ranked the Top 10 NBA wings under the age of 25 and Sharpe figures highly in his calculations.
Portland’s high-flyer didn’t end up in the top spot. That was reserved for Orlando Magic superstar Paolo Banchero. Scottie Barnes of the Toronto Raptors understandably took second, while Franz Wagner, also of the Magic, slid into third. After that came Sharpe, whom Buckley praised:
His freshman campaign as a whole impressed, as he paired 16 points per 36 minutes with a 47.2/36/71.4 shooting slash. But in the final 10 games, he launched into orbit. More specifically, he averaged 23.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists to go along with a 46/37.8/77.3 shooting.
Now, there weren’t any stakes attached, as Portland was already waist-deep into a tanking effort that eventually delivered Scoot Henderson. Even still, these were NBA games against NBA defenses, and Sharpe knifed through them like warm butter. He also showed off a host of shot-creating moves, which, if ever fully developed, might one day help him lead an offense.
To be clear, those question marks haven’t gone away, and a few—a loose handle, poor passing and a shoddy defensive motor—could torpedo his trajectory if never answered.
So, while he could wind up being the best player on this list, the actual chance of that happening isn’t high enough for him to crack the top three.
Of note: Buckley placed Sharpe over recently-drafted Brandon Miller of the Charlotte Hornets and rookie phenom Benedict Mathurin of the Indiana Pacers. Not bad for a guy just getting his feet under him.