Will we ever see Shaedon Sharpe suit up in a Kentucky uniform? The chances of that happening certainly just took a hit, at least in terms of the 2022-23 college basketball season.
To this point, the belief was Sharpe was not eligible to enter the 2022 NBA Draft. However, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony reports that Sharpe is, in fact, eligible for this year’s draft, where he has the potential to be a top-five pick.
“Shaedon Sharpe, formerly ESPN’s No. 1 prospect in the 2022 high school class, can apply for the 2022 NBA draft as an early-entry candidate, a source told ESPN on Thursday,” Givony wrote while adding, “Sharpe turns 19 on May 30 and thus meets the age-requirement for the NBA draft, along with being one NBA season removed from high school graduation.”
Givony currently has Sharpe ranked No. 6 overall in the 2022 NBA Draft.
However, Kyle Tucker of The Athletic reports that Sharpe and Kentucky knew this would be the case all along and he still isn’t planning to enter the draft.
Shaedon Sharpe being eligible for the next NBA draft is not news to Kentucky. It’s not a new development. It’s something neither Sharpe’s camp nor UK wanted out because of all the speculation it would create. As of today, whether he plays this year or not, he plans to stay at UK.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) January 20, 2022
So for now at least, it looks like Sharpe is planning to be here next season, but we know how fast things can change when it comes to the draft with millions of dollars at stake.
The one thing working in Kentucky’s favor is potential NIL money Sharpe can get. You have to figure he could earn millions with those, perhaps enough to convince him to stay for the 2022-23 season while potentially boosting his stock enough to go No. 1 overall in 2023.
As for Sharpe potentially playing this season, you have to wonder what, if any effect this news will have. Sharpe has expressed a willingness to play, while Calipari has stressed the mid-year enrollee is nowhere close to being ready for game action.
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