Peachtree Hoops’ staff continues the NBA Draft scouting report series as we’re now less than a week from the draft. This installment breaks down Day’Ron Sharpe, a big out of North Carolina.
In today’s NBA, rostering a big center who is going to dominate in the low post is not as common as it was even just 10 years ago.
The Joel Embiids of the world come along seldomly in modern basketball. Day’Ron Sharpe is not Embiid, but he is a talented young center who has potential on both ends of the floor.
Sharpe, another one-and-done player, spent his lone year against NCAA competition at the University of North Carolina. Getting coached up by the legendary Roy Williams is an instant boost to a player’s profile.
At 6’11 and 265 lbs., Sharpe is a bruiser and a better playmaker than his assist numbers suggest. He also played basketball at an extremely high level before college. At 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 projected first round picks in this year’s draft.
Point being, he may be a young player, but Sharpe does not lack serious basketball experience and coaching.
Sharpe is projected to go in the late first round or early second round in the coming draft and is ranked 31st overall on ESPN’s best available. He sits at 30th overall on The Athletic’s Sam Venecie’s big board.
Low Post Scoring
Sharpe’s biggest strength on offense is getting buckets in the paint. He scores well on the low block and uses his size to overpower smaller defenders for easy layups and powerful dunks. He is more nimble than his size may suggest and has the bounce to rise above for open looks.
Granted most of his scoring came in the paint, his 51.9% rate from the field is solid but not great. He only averaged 9.5 points per contest, yet that was in just 19.2 minutes per game. His per 40 minute metric has him racking up 19.8 PPG.
You will find later on in this profile that rebounding is truly more of an overall strength for Sharpe, but his offensive rebounding shall not go without props. Sharpe is active on the offensive boards. He plays with a lot of energy and has awareness and feel for the direction a missed shot is going.
That knowledge and instinct allows Sharpe to soar over defenders for putback slams and easy second-chance buckets. Sharpe snags 3.3 rebounds per game and had an offensive rebounding percentage of 18.1% according to Sports Reference.
Sharpe only attempted two 3-point shots over the course of 29 collegiate games and he missed both of them. Shooting is something he will have to improve on to be more than just solid within the league’s modern playstyle.
Almost all of his shot attempts and makes came within the paint. Even just a serviceable midrange jumper would elevate him as a prospect. We just did not see much of that at Chapel Hill.
There is no point in diving deep into it once again. Sharpe averaged 7.8 RPG at North Carolina, and this was in less than 20 MPG. The NBA will be together and more physical, but he should step into the league and immediately be an above-average rebounding center if he carries his production to the next level.
This is a projected strength. Sharpe has the potential to be a really good shot blocker and rim protector, and he showed flashes of that at UNC, but he is not quite there yet. When his motor is going, he has sneaky athleticism to fly to the ball and get a hand on it as an opponent gets a shot off. His feel for the game should improve with coaching,and he will get more of that in the NBA.
He may be nimble for his size, but he is not a super agile player. Sharpe struggles when he is switched onto opposing guards, as most bigs do. Lateral quickness will need to be improved if he is to be an elite defender one day, which his ceiling could allow him to be.
Fit on the Atlanta Hawks
Sharpe is a player that may be a little bit of a reach at 20th overall, where the Hawks select in the first round. However, he will likely be off the board when Atlanta is on the clock again at pick 48. So, unless the Hawks management is in love with his game, it does not seem likely that Sharpe will find a home in Georgia’s capital.
On another note, the Hawks do not have any glaring needs on the roster. That is what happens when a team makes it all the way to the conference finals. The recent news of Onyeka Okongwu’s injury possibly increases the odds that the Hawks will go with a center in the first round, but that is not something to bank on. The Hawks’ center rotation of Clint Capela and Okongwu is strong, and the latter is only projected to miss the first couple of months of the season. Atlanta going out and finding a cheap backup option in free agency for the time that Okongwu is out is more likely to happen then the Hawks taking a true center at pick 20.
If the Hawks do decide to go with Sharpe, he may push Okongwu to more of a power forward type of role and truly bolster their frontcourt. While that is not the direction that Travis Schlenk and company are predicted to go, nothing is out of the question in a draft where the Hawks are not desperate for any certain position.