Sunday, April 14 2024

Shaedon Sharpe started out his sophomore season in the NBA with averages of 18 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists in his first four games of the 2023/24 campaign. His coach Chauncey Billups can’t help but see a long-successful career in the 20-year-old’s future.

When asked about the rising star’s potential, the Portland trainer didn’t hold back in his vision of what Sharpe can become if he sets his mind to it. According to Billups, the No. 7 overall pick in last year’s draft has the potential to become the next Devin Booker.

As Anfernee Simons has been out due to a thumb injury, the young Canadian has been slotted into starting rotation and is currently the team’s second-leading scorer.

“I mean, I don’t just say those things,” the Blazers coach said on Monday. “Booker is one of the very best in our league and that’s my admiration and respect for him as a player. The one thing that Devin Booker is that I want to Shae to be every single night is Devin is the ultimate competitor.”

His coach is satisfied with the guard’s involvement so far. “Every night, he’s either giving it to somebody, he’s talking smack with somebody, tries to push somebody. That’s not really Shae’s personality, but I want that to be his mentality. You don’t have to talk, you don’t have to do all those things, but I want that mentality,” Billups explained.

This vote of confidence from the Portland trainer was welcomed by Sharpe. “I don’t think it ever puts pressure on me, I feel like my whole goal is to be a basketball player and play the game,” he said. “But it is good to hear Chauncey, the coaching staff, say that my game kind of relates to the top players in the league.”

Shaedon is grateful for everything he learned during his rookie season. “I got to get a feel of how the NBA really is just because of the minutes I played, which helped me you know, in this off-season to work on things I need to work on,” he confessed.

Billups explains why his rising star also has the potential of being elite on the defensive side of the floor

Coming off his first year in the NBA, Sharpe excited fans from all over the the league with his high-flying dunks, which became his highlights of the 2022/23 campaign. However, his coach believes he also has the potential of dominating the defensive side of the floor.

“I’ve been very happy with him, you know, from the standpoint of him just having to take on some added responsibilities offensively and defensively. … I think he can be elite on the defensive end, I really do,” Billups expressed.

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The Blazers head coach is more than pleased with the offensive responsibilities taken by his six-foot-five, 200-pound sophomore guard.

“And then offensively, obviously, he’s just gifted, you know, but he’s starting to not rest on those gifts and starting to establish even more and more. So as you can read by what I’m saying, I got great, great hope that this is going to be a good player in this league,” he stated.

Source: Basketball Insider

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