NBA draft grades: Portland Trail Blazers make risky pick in Shaedon Sharpe with No. 7 pick

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Kentucky guard Shaedon Sharpe, a former Glendale Dream City Christian standout, went to the Portland Trail Blazers with the No. 7 pick in the 2022 NBA draft on Thursday night.

How did NBA writers feel about the selection?

Check out their grades and reaction to the pick.

Fox Sports: Trail Blazers receive a B- for Shaedon Sharpe pick

It writes: "Sharpe may be the biggest high-risk, high-reward prospect in the draft class. He’s super athletic and long, and can play above the rim. His shooting touch is elite, and he has the ability to provide a scoring burst for a team at the next level. While Sharpe fits the mold of a score-first guard, he is a capable passer and can make plays for teammates. So, why isn’t he higher on the board? What makes him such a high risk? He did not play appear in a game at Kentucky this past season after reclassifying to be available for the second semester in Lexington. Add in the fact that Sharpe has only appeared in 42 competitive games since 2019, and it begs the question of whether or not he will be able to handle the challenges that come with transitioning to the NBA without going through much beforehand. This is felt on the defensive end of the floor, where Sharpe didn’t really shine in the sample size we do have. There’s also cause for concern with Sharpe’s shot selection and how he picks his spots in the NBA, with him not playing real 5-on-5 action since the Nike EYBL Circuit last July. The Blazers are looking to build at every position surrounding Damian Lillard. They need more scoring threats, and at surface level, that is Sharpe’s game. That said, there’s just such a high level of variance with what Sharpe ends up being. Is Sharpe a win-now player? We'll see."

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Yahoo Sports: Trail Blazers earn a B for selection of Shaedon Sharpe

Krysten Peek writes: "Sharpe is the biggest question mark of the draft and will need additional time to adjust to the NBA's pace and spacing after not logging a single minute at Kentucky. If the Trail Blazers are patient, Sharpe might have ended up in the perfect situation playing alongside Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons in the backcourt."

CBS Sports: Shaedon Sharpe pick lands Trail Blazers a B+

Gary Parrish writes: "This pick is interesting because it seems with the Jerami Grant trade that the Blazers are trying to get good now. And Sharpe is an interesting fit from that perspective. But few players in this class have higher ceilings than him. He's an explosive scorer with ridiculous size for the wing and athleticism, and he could one day be a plus defender with those tools. He's just likely not ready to do that right away after not playing last season at Kentucky."

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Shaedon Sharpe walks across the stage after being selected seventh overall by the Portland Trailblazers in the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 23, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Shaedon Sharpe walks across the stage after being selected seventh overall by the Portland Trailblazers in the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 23, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The Ringer: Trail Blazers get an A+ for picking Shaedon Sharpe

Kevin O'Connor writes: "Sharpe might be risky in the short term, but this is a tremendous get for the Blazers. Portland was rumored to be shopping this pick and could still move Sharpe, but he provides a tremendous upside bet for Portland. He has an extremely high ceiling and could have been in the running to be the top pick if he hadn’t sat out last season at Kentucky. He may not help the Blazers win games in 2022-23, but long term he could be the best scorer in this draft."

Bleacher Report: Shaedon Sharpe selection receives a B for Trail Blazers

Zach Buckley writes: "Interesting. The Blazers, who need as much win-now talent as anyone as they try to rapidly retool around 31-year-old Damian Lillard, just spent a top-10 pick on someone who hasn’t played a game in a year. Then again, they also just snagged someone with a sky-high ceiling at both ends, so it’s hard to complain. This draft’s mystery man, Sharpe never played a game for the Wildcats. That forced scouts and analysts to fire up footage from his high school days, where he dazzled as a dunker, shot-creator and effortlessly smooth shooter. Still, he could face a steep learning curve in the league, as his handle and shot selection both need copious amounts of seasoning. If everything breaks right with his development, though, he could become a go-to scorer who keeps teammates involved and holds his own defensively. The boldness from the Blazers here is commendable. If there was a way to spend this pick and not have it lose trade value, this was probably the path, since Sharpe has such enormous potential."

More: NBA mock draft: Kentucky's Shaedon Sharpe polarizing prospect in 2022 NBA draft

SB Nation: Trail Blazers earn B+ grade for Shaedon Sharpe choice

Ricky O'Donnell writes: "Sharpe is the mystery man of this class after enrolling at Kentucky midseason as next year’s No. 1 recruit and deciding not to play. He has a great frame for a shooting guard at nearly 6’6 with a 7-foot wingspan. He has ridiculous leaping ability, and can make plays way above the rim. He also has soft touch from three-point range. What else does Sharpe do? Who knows. His NBA debut will mark a full year since his most recent game. There will be major questions about Sharpe’s feel for the game, how he translates defensively, and what kind of passer he is. It sure seemed like he settled for tough shots too often against the high school level, even if those shots often went in. Still, we’re giving this pick a high grade because of Sharpe’s tools. With the right amount of patience and development, Sharpe can eventually be a really good player who does things you can’t teach. This is a nice upside swing by the Blazers even if it’s a risky pick."

How would you grade the Shaedon Sharpe pick for the Trail Blazers?

Reach Jeremy Cluff at jeremy.cluff@arizonarepublic.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Portland Trail Blazers NBA draft grades for Shaedon Sharpe 2022 pick