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2022 NBA Draft: Shaedon Sharpe’s decision to stay in draft reshapes big boards

Sharpe could provide elite athleticism next to Cade Cunningham

Florida v Kentucky Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The 2022 NBA Draft just got a little deeper with reports surfacing that Shaedon Sharpe, one of the most buzzed about prospects for the past year is forgoing his college eligibility and will stay in the NBA Draft despite never playing a minute for the University of Kentucky.

Sharpe’s eligibility requires final approval from the NBA since he graduated high school in May 2021. He was the No. 1 prospect in the 2022 draft class and is considered a lock for a top-10 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. While he has no college tape to lean on and hasn’t played organized basketball in quite a year, Sharpe could rise even higher with the upcoming draft shallow with elite prospects and plenty of question marks surrounding players vying to be a top-5 selection.

The 6-foot-6 guard with a big wingspan reportedly possesses the mix of elite athleticism and shooting touch that could see him excel in the NBA. He has a projectable build that could see him fill out into a sturdy wing and good defensive instincts.

Sharpe currently ranks 7th on Tankathon, sixth on ESPN and fifth on The Athletic. The Pistons have the third-worst record in the NBA and that gives them the best odds to land a top-4 pick. However, the single most likely scenario with the flatter lottery odds would see them fall to sixth.

While there is plenty of debate on how to slot the top of the draft among Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren and Jabari Smith Jr., things seem to drop off a bit from there and the addition of Sharpe at least adds the intrigue of a potential elite player into that group.

Mileage may vary, but if the Pistons face a “worst-case scenario” then they will be debating between players like AJ Griffin, Jaden Ivey, Benedict Mathurin, Tari Eason, Johnny Davis and Jalen Duren.

It is also unclear if a raw player like Sharpe is what Troy Weaver would be looking to add to build the team alongside Cunningham or if he would want a player who has already shown they can excel against some of the best players basketball.

I don’t think Weaver would be scared away if he truly felt Sharpe was the best player on the board, but that doesn’t mean the young guard would be ready to contribute in a significant way for the next couple of years.