Peachtree Hoops staff continue the series of NBA Draft scout reports as we are now less than a week away from the Draft. This episode breaks down Day’Ron Sharpe from North Carolina.
In today’s NBA, forming a big center who will dominate at the low post is not as common as it was just 10 years ago.
The Joel Embiids of the world rarely show up in modern basketball. Day’Ron Sharpe isn’t Embiid, but he’s a talented young center with potential at both ends of the pitch.
Sharpe, another single player, spent his only year against NCAA competition at the University of North Carolina. Being coached by the legendary Roy Williams is an instant boost to a player’s profile.
At 6’11 and 265 pounds, Sharpe is a murderer and a better point guard than his assists figures suggest. He also played basketball at an extremely high level before college. In one of the best high school basketball programs in the country, Shape’s teammates at Montverde Academy included Scottie Barnes, Cade Cunningham and Moses Moody – all screened first-round picks in this year’s draft.
The point is, he might be a young player, but Sharpe doesn’t lack experience and a serious basketball coach.
Sharpe is expected to participate at the end of the first round or the start of the second round in the next draft and is ranked 31st overall on ESPN’s best available. He is 30th overall on Sam Venecie’s big draw from The Athletic.
Low job score
Sharpe’s greatest strength on offense is putting buckets in the paint. He scores well on low block and uses his size to overpower smaller defenders for easy layups and powerful dunks. He’s more nimble than his size suggests and has the bounce to rise above for open looks.
Granted, most of his points came in the paint, his 51.9% field rate is solid but not great. He averaged just 9.5 points per game, but that was in just 19.2 minutes per game. His metric per 40 minutes allows him to accumulate 19.8 PPG.
You’ll find out later in this profile that the rebound is really more of an overall strength for Sharpe, but his offensive rebound doesn’t have to be without props. Sharpe is active on the offensive boards. He plays with a lot of energy and has an awareness and sense of the direction in which a miss is going.
This knowledge and instinct allows Sharpe to glide past defenders for recoil slams and easy Second Chance buckets. Sharpe grabs 3.3 rebounds per game and has an offensive rebound percentage of 18.1% according to Sports Reference.
Sharpe only attempted two 3-pointers in 29 college games and missed them both. Shooting is something he will need to improve on to be more than solid in the modern league playstyle.
Almost all of his shooting attempts and shots went into the painting. Even a simple midrange rider in good condition would elevate him as a prospect. We just didn’t see much of that in Chapel Hill.
There’s no point in diving into it again. Sharpe averaged 7.8 RPGs in North Carolina, and that was under 20 MPG. The NBA will be together and more physical, but he should step into the league and immediately be an above-par rebound center if he takes his production to the next level.
It is a projected force. Sharpe has the potential to be a pretty good shot blocker and rim protector, and he’s shown flashes of that at UNC, but he’s not quite there yet. When his engine is running, he has a devious athleticism to fly towards the ball and get his hands on it as an opponent fires a shot. His feeling of the game should improve with training, and he will get more of it in the NBA.
Defense on the ball
He might be nimble for his size, but he’s not a super nimble player. Sharpe struggles when switched to opposing guards, as most greats do. Lateral speed will need to be improved if he is ever to be an elite defender, which his cap could allow him to be.
Ride on the Atlanta Hawks
Sharpe is a player who can be a little up to the mark at No. 20, which the Hawks select in the first round. However, he will likely be off the board when Atlanta is on 48 picks again. So unless the Hawks’ management is in love with his game, it doesn’t seem likely that Sharpe will find a home in the Georgian capital. .
On another note, the Hawks don’t have any dire needs on the roster. This is what happens when a team makes it to the conference finals. The recent news of Onyeka Okongwu’s injury may increase the Hawks’ chances of going with a cross in the first round, but it’s not something to bet on. The central rotation of the Hawks of Clint Capela and Okongwu is strong, and the latter is only expected to miss the first two months of the season. Atlanta going out and finding a cheap free agency save option during the time Okongwu is out is more likely to happen than the Hawks taking a true 20-pick center.
If the Hawks decide to go with Sharpe, he could push Okongwu to a more powerful role and genuinely strengthen their front end. While that’s not the direction Travis Schlenk and his company should be going, nothing is ruled out in a draft where the Hawks aren’t desperate for a certain position.