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“Me at 19 versus Shaedon? Shaedon.” - Damian Lillard recognized the Portland Trail Blazers rookie’s potential

Shaedon Sharpe is determined to make an impact for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Damian Lillard and Shaedon Sharpe

Damian Lillard and Shaedon Sharpe

Shaedon Sharpe, 7th pick of the 2022 NBA draft, has garnered a lot of attention over the summer. He was picked by the Portland Trail Blazers, who have gone through a bit of reshuffle in terms of their core. However, their superstar Damian Lillard is back in action and has only good things to say about the rookie.

Shaedon Sharpe possesses a high level of talent

Sharpe has no doubts about his ability to be great, as he sees himself becoming one of the greatest ever to play the game. The Canadian has moved around a lot during his high school career, getting a lot of exposure in the process. However, there needs to be more footage to prove his potential.

From whatever is available, he was assessed to be a five-star recruit and even earned a contract to play NCAA basketball for Kentucky Wildcats. But before suiting up for the team, he declared for the draft and is now an NBA player.

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In the limited time, he’s spent with Lillard, the 6-time All-Star sees him as a superior talent – who could have possibly beat the 19-year-old Lillard in a one-on-one match-up.

“Me in 19 versus Shaedon? Shaedon. He would have had a hard time, cause it probably would have got into a fight,” Lillard told Tomer Azarly. “When I was 19, I was a different individual. I was, you know, just different. He’s way more talented than I was, and bigger. You know, probably stronger.”

Portland Trailblazers outlook for 2022-23

The Portland Trail Blazers concluded their preseason opener with a 97-102 defeat against the Clippers, but there were some good signs throughout the fixture. Lillard tallied 16 points, three rebounds, and two assists in the match-up, in just 23 minutes.

Jerami Grant, who came via a trade with the Detroit Pistons, proved to be a solid contributor on defense – and also displayed range. Gary Payton II did not feature in the preseason opener, but his presence will prove to strengthen the Blazers’ defensive capabilities further.

While the new-look roster is not currently a title favorite, they’re a team that can make a solid run. The Blazers retooled the roster to fill the gap created by CJ McCollum’s departure, but how successful they can be will depend on Lillard’s ability to rally the troops.

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