However, that belief was surrounded by the uncertainty of Sharpe’s draft eligibility.
While Sharpe, at 19 years old meets the age requirement, his graduation date created the biggest hiccup. Based on the way NBA League rules are written, “players must be one NBA season removed from high school graduation to be eligible.”
What should have been simple, wasn’t so simple when reports came out that Sharpe had two graduation dates, May and October.
While the situation may never be made clear, what is clear is that Sharpe has been officially declared eligible for the 2022 NBA Draft.
On Wednesday morning, the NBA officially announced the early entry candidates list for this year’s draft, which included Sharpe. Three other Kentucky Wildcats joined Sharpe on the list, TyTy Washington, Keion Brooks Jr., and Jacob Toppin, and potentially Kentucky recruiting target, Leonard Miller.
Of the players just mentioned, only Washington has announced that he would forego his college eligibility, meaning the others still have a decision to make.
In a radio interview with Dan Issel and Mike Pratt last Friday, John Calipari talked about Sharpe and his situation and gave an interesting quote, “We don’t know… He may do this, but it’s not done,” Calipari said.
Given the controversy surrounding Sharpe’s advisor, Dwayne Washington, Calipari also noted that Sharpe and his family will be a part of the decision, saying, “I’m talking to his mother and father, and we’re talking once a week. THEY will play a part in this.”
As for Toppin, he is not listed on any NBA mock draft and is expected to return to Kentucky after receiving feedback, with John Calipari saying as such on the aforementioned radio show.
Things have been very quiet on the Brooks’ front, he could stay in the draft, transfer, or make a return to Kentucky. Mock drafts have Brooks slated as a late second-round pick to undrafted. If he wishes to raise his stock, Brooks must develop a more consistent three-point shot, as he can develop into an NBA two-way wing with his size and versatility.
Leonard Miller could be another player that could enter the draft without playing a second of college basketball. The 6-foot-10 Canadian wing is expected to be eligible as an international prospect as he turned 18 in 2021, but must complete additional paperwork to do so. If he were deemed ineligible or were to make the decision to go to school, Kentucky is one of his top options.
Players have until June 1st at 11:59 pm ET to withdraw their names and retain college eligibility.