Conversely, Shaedon Sharpe seems to be more or less locked into the top five on most mock drafts, but I think there’s a significant chance that he could fall as far as 11th overall to the Knicks. Sharpe is the enigma of this draft cycle and comes with a lot of risk given that he hasn’t played a minute of organized basketball in a year. He comes with so much risk, in fact, that I think he’ll make many teams toward the top of the draft nervous. If the Pacers pass on him at 6th overall, I could see him falling quite a bit farther.
In this scenario, the Pistons pass on him because of the question marks associated with him not playing, instead moving in favor of a proven shooter that is a plus athlete with upside as a playmaker. Among the teams in the 6-9 range of the draft, if there’s any team that can afford to take a flyer on such a risky player, it’s the team that hasn’t had a single-digit draft pick in over 30 years and needs more size and talent on the wing.
While Keegan Murray has been frequently mocked to the Pacers at this spot, if Sharpe is still available, I could easily see the team being too tempted by his potential instead of going with a slightly safer pick in Murray. The Pacers desperately need star power to place next to Tyrese Haliburton, and while I’m confident that Murray’s shooting and post defense make him safely at least a good NBA player, Sharpe’s path to stardom will be quite a bit clearer if his shot-making and athleticism are truly as special as advertised, even if it takes a bit longer to get there.