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2022 NBA Draft Grades: Blazers Get A ‘B’ For Taking The Draft’s Biggest Mystery, Shaedon Sharpe

After a period of sustained success that included eight consecutive trips to the postseason, the Portland Trail Blazers suffered a downturn in results in 2021-22. Portland posted its worst record (27-55) in more than 15 years, leaning heavily into the tank after a long-term injury to Damian Lillard sent things into a spiral. The reward for the Blazers’ open effort to lose games at the end of the season is the No. 7 overall pick, with endless rumors about Portland’s potential desire to move that selection for present-facing help to support Lillard and a new, retooled era of Blazers basketball.

The night before the Draft, Portland showed their desire to win now by dealing a 2025 first (via Milwaukee) to Detroit for Jerami Grant. That immediately was followed by a report that the Blazers were actively pursuing OG Anunoby with the No. 7 pick, further indicating that Portland was not planning on making that selection.

In the end, the Blazers held firm at No. 7, as the promise of Draft night trades fell flat early on.

Roster Needs: A long-term co-star alongside Lillard; frontcourt stability, defensive help around a Lillard-Simons backcourt, overall direction in the present and future

Shaedon Sharpe (No. 7 Overall), B: With all of the talk about Portland using this pick for present-day help, Sharpe is a bit of a curveball, but perhaps the aim for ready-made contributors was lessened by the acquisition of Jerami Grant. In Sharpe, the Blazers are taking an upside swing on a player that was No. 1 in the 2022 high school class before reclassifying. He is a bit of a mystery after not playing in a competitive game for a year, but Sharpe’s tools are tremendous as a potential high-end scorer down the line.

2022 Free Agents:
Joe Ingles (UFA)
Jusuf Nurkic (UFA)
Anfernee Simons (RFA)
Ben McLemore (UFA)
CJ Elleby (RFA)
Elijah Hughes (RFA)
Keljin Blevins (RFA)

Damian Lillard
Jerami Grant
Eric Bledsoe
Josh Hart (non-guaranteed)
Nassir Little
Justise Winslow
Keon Johnson
Didi Louzada
Greg Brown III
Trendon Watford
Brandon Williams (two way)
Shaedon Sharpe