Kentucky basketball: Shaedon Sharpe selected No. 7 overall in 2022 NBA Draft


2022 NBA Draft coverage

A pair of Kentucky basketball players – Shaedon Sharpe and TyTy Washington – were expected to be chosen in the 2022 NBA Draft. Click below for the Lexington Herald-Leader’s coverage of Thursday night’s event.

(Below is a running recap of the 2022 NBA Draft with breaking news, observations and commentary.)

9:48 pm: Another SEC player goes off the board with the No. 17 overall pick as Houston selects LSU’s Tari Eason.

A transfer to Baton Rouge from Cincinnati, Eason was the SEC Sixth Man of the Year last season with per game averages of 16.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals.

An aggressive, physical forward on defense, some of Eason’s offensive uncertainty as a prospect was on display in two games against the Cats.

In January in Baton Rouge, he shot 4-9 from the field. In February in Lexington, he shot just 2-7 from the field.

9:41 pm: A pair of Duke players go back-to-back at No. 15 overall and No. 16 overall.

Mark Williams to Charlotte at 15, and AJ Griffin to Atlanta at 16.

Griffin was an absolute bucket in the game I saw Duke play at Louisville earlier this year (22 points, 5-5 on three-pointers), and Williams to Charlotte is going to lead to some fantastic Eric Collins commentary moments. Good stuff.

Griffin was a relative non-factor in Duke’s season-opening win over Kentucky last season, while Williams had five points, six rebounds and three blocks in that early November game.

9:36 pm: According to the H-L’s Jerry Tiptonby only having one lottery pick in this year’s NBA Draft, this matches the third-least lottery selections for UK in the John Calipari era.

There were zero in 2021 and 2020, one in 2016 (No. 7 Jamal Murray), 2014 (No. 7 Julius Randle), 2013 (No. 6 Nerlens Noel) and 2011 (No. 8 Brandon Knight).

9:31 pm: Four-year Kansas man and recent national champion Ochai Agbaji goes to Cleveland with the No. 14 overall pick.

In his four seasons in Lawrence, Agbaji played against UK on three occasions.

As a freshman during the 2018-19 season, he scored seven points in 21 minutes.

During the 2020-21 season, he scored 17 points and gathered five rebounds, along with dishing out three assists.

Last season in the UK’s blowout win in Lawrence, he was held to just 13 points on 4-14 shooting from the field

Ogbaji was the final lottery pick of this year’s draft.

9:28 pm: We’ve got another Draft Night Trade.

Charlotte takes Memphis big man Jalen Duren with the No. 13 overall pick, but will send him to New York, who will then send him and Kemba Walker to Detroit, according to Shams Charania.

This muddles up the possibility for the Pistons to target Deandre Ayton in free agency, but continues to make the Pistons a must-watch NBA League Pass product next season.

It also clears space for the Knicks to pursue Jalen Brunson in free agency by dumping Walker’s salary. Please do not take Jalen Brunson away from me. Please.

The wait goes on to see who Eric Collins gets to produce verbiage about next season in Charlotte.

9:11 pm: Ex-Cat Julius Randle appeared to get some international flavor in New York as the Knicks take 6-10 forward Ousmane Dieng from France with the No. 11 overall pick, BUT Dieng will be headed to Oklahoma City.

According to Woj, Oklahoma City is sending multiple first-round picks to New York for Dieng.

This is the first true trade of NBA Draft night.

My Mavs are going to have to deal with some serious length in the NBA’s Southwest Division this upcoming season.

9:05 pm: With Shaedon Sharpe off the board, TyTy Washington remains the last expected Kentucky draft selection waiting to be chosen.

Through 10 picks tonight, only 2 SEC players have been chosen (Jabari Smith Jr. and Sharpe).

9:01 pm: Some images can be found here of Shaedon Sharpe following his NBA Draft selection by the Portland Trail Blazers.

8:46 pm: And the first Wildcat of the night is off the board. Shaedon Sharpe (who if you haven’t heard, never actually played for UK) is selected with the No. 7 overall pick by the Portland Trail Blazers.

A midyear enrollee from Canada, Sharpe sat out the second half of the 2021-22 season before declaring and staying in the draft.

“I just want to show everybody what I can do, for real,” Sharpe said on ABC after his selection.

Sharpe practiced with the UK and went through pregame warmups on the Rupp Arena court, but did not appear in any games.

“I did talk to Cal about it, my coach, trainer, even my parents,” Sharpe said last Friday. “But, at the end of the day, it was my decision not to play.”

ESPN’s NBA Draft package on Sharpe after his selection also hinted at the mystery element of Sharpe as a player, with an Austin Powers theme to it.

Sharpe also said that “everything happens for a reason. So I really don’t regret (not) playing. I’m working out for NBA teams now. So I guess I did something right. ”

One of the teams that Sharpe worked out for was the Trail Blazers.

Sam Vecenie of The Athletic correctly mocked Sharpe going No. 7 overall to Portland.

Sharpe has true secondary star potential to pair with bouncy athleticism, although of course we never saw that at the college level.

Fun fact! Per ESPN, at 19 years, 24 days old, Sharpe is the second-youngest top-10 pick from Canada in NBA history. Only RJ Barrett was younger.

8:34 pm: Keegan Murray (Iowa) going to Sacramento at No. 4 overall clears the way for Jaden Ivey (Purdue) to go to Detroit and Cade Cunningham at No. 5.

The Pistons become another must-watch NBA League Pass team for me next season, despite recently trading Jerami Grant to Portland (home of former UK player Eric Bledsoe). Pistons also have a ton of cap space, possibly to target Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton.

8:22 pm: The first SEC player is off the board with the No. 3 overall pick as Jabari Smith Jr. goes to the Houston Rockets.

Smith played just once against the UK this season, logging 29 minutes and recording 14 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks in a Jan. 22 home win over Kentucky.

Now the draft gets (even more) fun.

8:16 pm: Gonzaga big man Chet Holmgren goes to Oklahoma City with the No. 2 overall pick. Former UK Wildcat Shai Gilgeous-Alexander gains a supremely talented big man as a teammate, but Holmgren is still a player with questions about his durability and strength at the NBA level.

Josh Giddey and SGA playing with Holmgren is going to make my NBA League Pass subscription worth it next season (and also probably cause a few additional losses for my Mavs, who seem to inexplicably lose to the Thunder most seasons anyway).

8:11 pm: The No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft is Duke’s Paolo Banchero to the Orlando Magic. A surprising selection given the pre-draft chatter that had Banchero expected to be picked. 3 overall, as recently as this afternoon.

UK fans (even those not super in tune with the rest of college basketball) will remember Banchero’s college debut: A 22-point, seven-rebound performance at Madison Square Garden in a win over Kentucky.

Kentucky maintains its narrow lead over Duke in terms of overall draft picks and first-round selections in the two-round NBA Draft era.

8:07 pm: Both Sharpe and Washington have “officially arrived” to the Draft and Adam Silver has opened the proceedings. The Magic are on the clock. I’m feeling a Draft in here folks!

7:58 pm: Well, so much for a calm and predictable start to the draft, we’ve already had a reported deviation from the expected 1-2-3 order of Smith, Holmgren and Banchero.

Woj is now reporting that Paolo Banchero may go No. 1 overall after all to Orlando.

7:40 pm: As the Draft nears ever closer, I’ll pass along two of my usual go-to Mock Draft resources: Comprehensive Draft previews from The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor and The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie.

Probably far too late to read all of that content, but just know O’Connor has Shaedon Sharpe going No. 9 to San Antonio and TyTy Washington going No. 25, also to San Antonio.

Vecenie has Sharpe at No. 8 to the New Orleans Pelicans and Washington at No. 20 to the Spurs (via Toronto).

7:23 pm: Shaedon Sharpe’s NBA Draft suit is here. His suit jacket, evidently, contains a repeat pattern of his personal brand logo. Still a clean fit, and the watch on the left wrist pairs nicely. 8/10 from me.

7:10 pm: TyTy Washington’s NBA Draft fit can be found here. Clean and classic. 9/10 from me.

7:06 pm: As with most drafts, a clear group has separated itself at the top for the first few picks.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, as of this morning A solid 1-2-3 order in the draft has formed of Jabari Smith to Orlando, Chet Holmgren to Oklahoma City and Paolo Banchero to Houston.

Nothing super shocking there, as that trio (despite some Jaden Ivey buzz) was expected to go off the board in the first three picks.

This would be the first time since 2017 that the first three picks of the NBA Draft were all one-and-done college freshmen.

The UK angle on this is former Wildcat Shai Gilgeous-Alexander likely gaining the massive Holmgren as a teammate in OKC.

7 pm: Welcome to the Herald-Leader’s annual recap of the NBA Draft! Running the live blog tonight is me, unabashed Dallas Mavericks fan Cam Drummondof the H-L’s sports department.

It’ll probably be a quiet night for my Mavs after they dealt their only draft pick in the Christian Wood trade, but it’ll be a night full of intrigue for former Kentucky basketball players expected to be selected in the draft or on the verge of gaining new teammates.

At least two former UK players (a designation that’s been hotly disputed) will be selected in tonight’s draft: Shaedon Sharpe (who. Of course. Never played for UK) and TyTy Washington (a one-and-done freshman).

Opinions on Sharpe are all over the place, considering he hasn’t played in a traditional, organized basketball game since high school. Mock drafts have Sharpe everywhere from a lottery pick to a mid first-round selection.

Washington, a more traditional prospect with a year of college game tape, is expected to be a mid to late first-round selection.

Kentucky enters tonight’s NBA Draft with 55 all-time first round picks, 32 of which were drafted under current head coach John Calipari.

I’ve just cooked two massive chicken quesadillas for the festivities, and I’ll have you covered all night long as Sharpe and Washington find their first NBA homes, and former UK players in the league gain new teammates that could have a sizable impact on the NBA landscape.

Chief among these players will be Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on the Oklahoma City Thunder (No. 2 overall pick), De’Aaron Fox and Trey Lyles on the Sacramento Kings (No. 4 overall pick) and Keldon Johnson on the San Antonio Spurs ( No. 9 overall pick).


This story was originally published June 23, 2022 6:59 PM.

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Cameron Drummond works as a sports reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader with a focus on the University of Kentucky women’s basketball program, in addition to other college, high school and professional sports in the area. Drummond is a first-generation American who was born and raised in Texas, before graduating from Indiana University in 2020. He is a fluent Spanish speaker who previously worked as a community news reporter for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper in Austin, Texas.


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