Blazers' Chauncey Billups on Shaedon Sharpe: 'Uber Talent. Can Do It All'

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJune 26, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 23: Shaedon Sharpe poses for photos on the red carpet during the 2022 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 23, 2022 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)
Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

Chauncey Billups hasn't gotten to see much of Shaedon Sharpe in person, but he was blown away with what he has seen so far.

"I didn't see him play as much, other than our scouts showing me some of his high-school clips," the Portland Trail Blazers coach told reporters Saturday. "Just an incredible talent. Uber talent. Can do it all. We watched him work out in Chicago and we all left there kind of amazed."

The Blazers selected Sharpe with the No. 7 pick in the 2022 NBA draft. Sharpe was one of the youngest players in this draft class after graduating high school early and enrolling at Kentucky in January.

While he was initially expected to redshirt before playing in Lexington next season, Sharpe instead chose to enter his name into the draft despite NBA teams having no footage of him playing in a competitive environment since high school.

Portland may wind up getting the steal of the draft if Sharpe's high school hype proves true. He was ranked as the No. 3 player in the 2021 recruiting class and would have been considered a contender for the No. 1 overall pick in 2023 had he returned to Kentucky.

A prototypically sized shooting guard at 6'6" and 200 pounds, Sharpe has out-of-this-world athleticism and an explosive first step that allows him to blow past defenders and finish at the rim. While his jumper is inconsistent, he's still willing to pull up on jumpers when defenders sag off. His defensive potential is also high given his nearly seven-foot wingspan.

Billups' main goal, beyond improving the Blazers' dismal 2021-22 record, will be working to develop Sharpe so he can reach the peak of his potential.