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Big man draft prospect Sharpe could be diamond in rough for Sixers

/ by Brian Brennan
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A scouting report on NBA draft prospect Day’Ron Sharpe: 

  • Position: Center
  • Height: 6-11
  • Weight: 265 pounds
  • School: North Carolina

A consensus top-15 recruit out of high school, Day’Ron Sharpe shined in somewhat limited duty on a poorly constructed UNC team in his only college season.

Roy Williams juggled playing time for his four big men throughout the season, all of whom were more comfortable in the paint than on the perimeter and none of whom could capably shoot from college three-point range.

As a result, Sharpe played just 19.2 minutes per game despite some eye-popping production, finishing ninth in the country in total offensive rebounds. He averaged 9.5 points and 7.6 rebounds in his freshman season, shooting 51.9 percent from the field.

Strengths

Sharpe is a voracious offensive rebounder, utilizing a strong frame, advanced footwork and a nose for the basketball to get second-chance opportunities. He’s also a quick jumper, which helps him convert those offensive rebounds into putbacks and follow dunks.

Like many UNC big men before him, Sharpe runs the floor well, often beating smaller defenders for transition baskets. In the half court, he has tremendous hands and can make tough catches, making him an excellent lob threat. He also flashes unique passing abilities for a player his size and can find cutters from the perimeter or the low post. 

Sharpe shows good lateral quickness and could be a switchable defender down the road, though it may be a work in progress initially. His best defensive attribute in college was his ability to get blocks and steals as a help defender in the paint.

 

The paint was usually clogged most of the time due to UNC’s lack of spacing, but when given the opportunity, Sharpe showed off good footwork in the post and could bully his way to the rim when needed.

Weaknesses

Sharpe has not yet shown the ability to stretch the floor, which is why he’s likely to go late in the first round or possibly in the second round. He was 0 for 2 from three-point range in his freshman season and was also a poor free throw shooter at just 50.5 percent. 

As fans know all too well here in Philadelphia, having any player who is unable to make perimeter shots allows defenses to pack the paint. If Sharpe never adds a perimeter jump shot, it likely caps his ceiling as a backup center who brings energy and rebounding off the bench.

Fit

Sharpe could be a diamond in the rough because his lack of playing time at UNC may have artificially capped his production. 

He has a similar skill set to Detroit’s Isaiah Stewart, who added a three-point jumper he didn’t show in college and made the All-Rookie Second Team last season. To be fair, Stewart was a significantly better free throw shooter in his lone college season than Sharpe.

If the Sixers decided to move on from Dwight Howard, Sharpe is the kind of player who could replace some of Howard’s rebounding off the bench and give the Sixers a talented young big man with room to develop. I think of him as bigger and stronger version of Richaun Holmes during Holmes’ time with the Sixers. 

Sharpe has the size, agility and rebounding instincts that you can’t teach.