5 players for the Orlando Magic to watch at the NBA Draft Combine

Kentucky's Shaedon Sharpe warms up Jan. 25, 2022.Syndication The Courier Journal
Kentucky's Shaedon Sharpe warms up Jan. 25, 2022.Syndication The Courier Journal /
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5 players to watch at the NBA Draft Combine

Shaedon Sharpe, Kentucky

So we are going to start this list by breaking the rule. The one top prospect everyone is going to be clamoring to get a look at is Kentucky guard Shaedon Sharpe.

Sharpe sat out the entire season at Kentucky as the school chose to hold him out instead of risking him being declared ineligible and to avoid having to answer the “will-he, won’t-he” questions of him playing. They made a definitive statement early that he would not play.

Sharpe has no issues there. He enrolled early at Kentucky after graduating high school early in Canada. The NCAA just had not fully cleared him within their rules.

By all accounts, Sharpe could have been the No. 1 pick in this draft. He was the No. 3 prospect after reclassifying into the Class of 2021, according to 247Sports.com.

The only questions about Sharpe are really arising because he has not played competitive basketball for the last year.

In high school, there was not much Sharpe could not do. He was an explosive leaper off two feet around hte basket, especially for a guard. He was comfortable pulling up from NBA-range 3-pointers. He could use his athleticism and size — listed at 6-foot-6, 200 pounds — to bully anywhere he wants.

There is a lot to like with Sharpe, even with notable concerns about his ability to dribble in traffic and some concerns about his still-improving jump shot.

The question then is just what kind of player is Sharpe? How do you evaluate a player who lost a year of game tape?

That is going to be the reason why he might be the most-requested player at the NBA Draft Combine. The Magic have surely put him on their list of players to get an interview with and begin the process of understanding who he is as a person as much as a player.

Sharpe, like most of the top prospects, will probably be in Chicago just to get his official measurements. He is not likely to participate in any drills or games.

His agency is set to hold a separate pro day where he will likely take part in some drills. Scouts will be flocking to this to see how he looks on the court in person.

That might be the only time anyone sees him on the court, save for select individual workouts. But every little piece of information counts.