2022 NBA Draft Grades for all 15 teams in the Western Conference

Adam Silver (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Adam Silver (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /
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2022 NBA Draft
LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY – JANUARY 25: Shaedon Sharpe #21 of the Kentucky Wildcats against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Rupp Arena on January 25, 2022 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

2022 NBA Draft Grades for the Western Conference: Portland Trail Blazers

Picks: Shaedon Sharpe, Wing, Kentucky (7); Jabari Walker, Forward, Colorado (57)

The Portland Trail Blazers started things off a day early, sending a future Milwaukee first-round pick and some seconds to the Detroit Pistons for Jerami Grant. That’s not under the purview of these grades, but it dictated that the Blazers were more likely to go for a perimeter piece at No. 7.

While Dyson Daniels was a popular pairing in mock drafts, instead the Blazers swung for the moon with Shaedon Sharpe, the draft’s mystery man. One hot year of high school basketball is the entire basis for Sharpe being a lottery pick, as he was a late bloomer and didn’t play a minute at Kentucky. Yet Sharpe is an elite athlete with natural scoring instincts and a great frame; he seems like the kind of high-upside, high-floor player that should go high in the draft.

Credit to Portland for going after the best player available instead of trading the pick for a win-now move; they want to extend their window of competing around Lillard instead of forcing their way through a short window. Sharpe was the fourth-ranked player on my board because of his upside, so this was incredible value and bold roster management by the Blazers.

After a fair amount of moving around, the Trail Blazers finally made a pick in the second round by taking Jabari Walker at 57. He is a big, strong forward who is one of the better defenders in the draft but needs to figure the offense out. He is a great value pick at 57.

I had Sharpe as my fourth-ranked player and they got him at seven, and then they got my 38th-ranked player at 57, so excellent value all around.

Grade: B+