Portland Trail Blazers wing Shaedon Sharpe has been named among the Second Year NBA Players to Watch by Steve Aschburner of NBA.com. Sharpe ranks alongside Paolo Banchero, Jalen Williams, and Walker Kessler as an intriguing sophomore looking to make a splash this season.
Aschburner’s praise for Sharpe is more muted than for the obvious Sophomore of the Year candidates, but he still credits the potential phenom as a Top 10 prospect:
Rookie notes: Had Sharpe done over most of 2022-23 what he did in his final 11 appearances – 22.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.8 apg, 34.8 minutes, 46.6%, 38.4% on 3s – new teammate Scoot Henderson might be trying to give the Blazers back-to-back ROY winners. Sharpe’s first 69 games were more limited: 7.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 0.8 apg in 20.2 minutes. He was unleashed late and the home stretch mattered little, but it whet Portland fans’ appetites.
What’s next: The 6-foot-6 wing showed enough, including some thunderous dunks, that he was one reason Portland shifted from trying to win for Damian Lillard to embracing a rebuild. He shot poorly in Las Vegas, presumably working to improve from the mid-range, but he just turned 20 six weeks after the Blazers’ season ended. His fit with Henderson will be key to watch, not unlike [Cade] Cunningham and [Jaden] Ivey in Detroit.
Sharpe appears at the 8th spot on Aschburner’s list, just above Jeremy Sochan of the San Antonio Spurs, just below Jabari Smith, Jr. of the Houston Rockets.