Shaedon Sharpe

Shaedon Sharpe Won’t Play Again This Season

Shaedon Sharpe won’t play in the last four Trail Blazers games, the team announced on Twitter.

The 20-year guard and 2022 lottery pick hasn’t played since Jan. 11 due to a lower abdominal strain. He was only ruled out for a couple of weeks at that time but he eventually required core muscle surgery in February due to continued discomfort.

Sharpe was expected to return before the end of the season and engaged in full contact workouts over the last week. However, the team decided not to take any chances. Instead, they’ll let him to return to full strength via continued rehab.

Sharpe appeared in only 32 games (25 starts) this season, averaging 15.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists. He played 80 games (15 starts) as a rookie, averaging 9.9 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists.

He’ll make $6.6MM next season and it’s a near certainty the Trail Blazers will exercise his $8.4MM option for the 2025/26 season prior to next season. That would make him extension-eligible during the 2025 offseason.

Injury Updates: Embiid, Lillard, Hart, Sharpe, Turner, Sochan, Huerter

Joel Embiid returned to the Sixers‘ lineup Tuesday, but he may not be available for an important showdown in Miami Thursday night, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The reigning MVP is listed as questionable for the contest after playing nearly 30 minutes and scoring 24 points in his first game since undergoing meniscus surgery in late January.

Tomorrow’s game will go a long way toward determining which teams wind up in the play-in tournament. The Heat are currently in sixth place at 42-33, followed by the Pacers at 43-34 and Philadelphia at 41-35. Miami can clinch the tiebreaker over the Sixers with a win.

Philadelphia could be missing several rotation players even if Embiid is cleared, Pompey adds. Also listed as questionable are Tyrese Maxey, who missed the past two games with tightness in his left hip, Tobias Harris, who has a hyperextended left knee, and Mohamed Bamba, who sat out Tuesday’s game with an illness.

There’s more injury news to pass along:

  • Bucks coach Doc Rivers provided an update on Damian Lillard, who sat out Tuesday and tonight with a right groin strain, tweets Eric Nehm of The Journal-Sentinel. Rivers said Lillard is “feeling a lot better” today and there’s hope that he’ll be able to return Friday. “I think he’s closer,” Rivers said. “I cannot guarantee that, though. … Now that’s one (injury) that if it’s not 100 percent or 90-whatever percentile they put him in, then no. With that one, we’re just not going to take any chances. It’s not worth it.”
  • Josh Hart is the latest addition to the Knicks‘ injury report, being listed as questionable for Friday’s game at Chicago with a sprained right wrist, according to Stefan Bondy of The New York Post (Twitter link). Hart was icing the wrist at the morning shootaround before Tuesday’s contest, Bondy adds.
  • Trail Blazers guard Shaedon Sharpe, who hasn’t played since January 11 due to core muscle surgery, is moving closer to a return, coach Chauncey Billups told reporters, including Casey Holdahl (Twitter link). “(Sharpe) is getting better, getting on the court with us,” Billups said. “He did a few things in our practice the other day, I thought he looked good so I was really excited about that. … We’ll just keep trying to ramp him up, challenge him physically to see if he can take it.”
  • Pacers center Myles Turner sat out Wednesday’s loss at Brooklyn after dislocating his right index finger while dunking on Monday, per Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star.
  • Spurs forward Jeremy Sochan confirmed that he underwent successful surgery today on his left ankle, tweets Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. Sochan hopes to be recovered in time to join the Polish national team for this summer’s Olympic qualifying tournament, Orsborn adds.
  • Kings guard Kevin Huerter had successful surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter link). The team expects him to be ready for the start of next season.

Northwest Notes: Murray, SGA, Sharpe, Wolves, Jazz

Jamal Murray continues to deal with a sprained left ankle and swollen right knee, having missed a fourth consecutive game on Friday vs. Minnesota. According to a report from ESPN, Nuggets head coach Michael Malone told reporters before Friday’s game that Murray is improving, but said he’s “not ready to go out there and compete at the level that we need him to” and hinted that the star guard may remain out for Sunday’s game vs. Cleveland.

Still, Malone isn’t worried at this point that Murray’s health issues will extend into the postseason, adding, “I do think he will be back on the court before the playoffs start.”

It should be an eventful spring and summer for Murray, assuming he gets – and stays – healthy. After seeking a second straight NBA championship with the Nuggets, the 27-year-old hopes to suit up for the Canadian national team at the Olympics in Paris, he confirmed to Eurohoops.

“I’m excited to be there,” he said. “We have a great squad, (it) was great to see them win a medal (at the 2023 World Cup). Hopefully, we can go our way and win gold this summer.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander missed a second consecutive game on Friday vs. Phoenix due to his right quad contusion. Head coach Mark Daigneault said that Gilgeous-Alexander will continue to be considered day-to-day, so there’s no indication at this point that the injury will result in an extended absence (Twitter link via Joel Lorenzi of The Oklahoman).
  • Trail Blazers guard Shaedon Sharpe, who is recovering from core muscle surgery, is with the team on its current seven-game road trip and will continue to be evaluated after participating in non-contact and conditioning drills in the G League earlier this week, per the club (Twitter link). Sharpe hasn’t played since January 11, but there’s still hope that he’ll return in the season’s final two weeks.
  • Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch said on Friday that he has great relationships with Glen Taylor, Marc Lore, and Alex Rodriguez, so he won’t be taking sides in the franchise’s ownership struggle and doesn’t expect the situation to affect his team at “troop level,” tweets Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. “If there was ever a definition of ‘above your pay grade,’ this is it,” Finch added.
  • After expressing some concern in mid-February about the frustration level in the Jazz‘s locker room, Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune says the locker room vibes in Utah are “way better” now. However, that comes with an important caveat — according to Larsen, since the Jazz have fallen out of the postseason race, they’re no longer as stressed about winning games, as “the sting of losing is absolutely gone.”

Trail Blazers Notes: Injuries, Sharpe, Henderson, Reath

At 19-52, the Trail Blazers don’t have much left to play for, but they don’t intend to shut down any of their injured players for the rest of the season, writes Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. Portland started five rookies Saturday night because of injuries to rotation members, but coach Chauncey Billups hopes to eventually have his regular lineup together.

“I think we have so much growth and development that needs to happen,” Billups said. “Obviously, we know we’re not going to the playoffs. But these dudes need to get better. They need to get to know each other while paying. The only way you get better at basketball is playing basketball.”

Jerami Grant is dealing with a hamstring issue that has sidelined him for the past two weeks, and Malcolm Brogdon hasn’t played since February 2 because of tendinitis in his elbow. Billups expressed hope that both players can return before the end of the season, along with Shaedon Sharpe, who has been out since January due to core muscle surgery, and Anfernee Simons, who had an MRI on Sunday after leaving Friday’s game with a knee injury. Simons is listed as questionable for tonight’s contest, which suggests that the injury isn’t that serious. Deandre Ayton, who missed the past two games with tendinitis in his left elbow, is also questionable.

The Blazers ended the past two seasons by sitting out players to improve their lottery odds, but Billups would rather see progress from his current group than focus on the draft. His teams have been hit hard by injuries since he took over as coach three years ago, but he hasn’t lost 60 games in a season and he wants to avoid reaching that total this year.

“I hate that I’m used to it,” he said of dealing with injuries. “But I’ve learned that it’s something that I can’t control, obviously. I try to always be positive and give whatever I have to whoever is playing the best I can. But it has been tough.”

There’s more from Portland:

  • Sharpe has been assigned to the organization’s G League team, marking an important step in his comeback, per Sean Highkin of The Rose Garden Report. Sharpe will practice with the Rip City Remix while the Blazers are on a two-week road trip and if he responds well, he may be back in the NBA during the final week of the season.
  • Scoot Henderson is sad to see the G League Ignite shutting down after it helped prepare him for the NBA, Highkin adds in a separate story (subscription required). “The coaches, they don’t get enough credit for having to get guys from high school, to get them up to speed in a few weeks to play some grown men that have children to feed,” Henderson said. “You don’t see that. You see them getting beat a lot and having a horrible record. You don’t see the things that they go through day-to-day. From my viewpoint, they helped me in a huge way to be where I am right now. I can’t thank them enough.”
  • Andrew Lopez of ESPN traces the remarkable journey of Duop Reath from his childhood in war-torn South Sudan to becoming an NBA rookie at 27. Reath was playing in Australia when he got a scholarship offer from Lee College in Texas. He eventually transferred to LSU, spent some time in Serbia, China and Lebanon, landed a spot on the Australian Olympic team and played four years in Summer League before getting his NBA opportunity. “I felt a sense of gratitude,” Reath said. “Reflecting on my journey, I feel like every experience played a major role to put me in the position I am today.”

Northwest Notes: Gobert, Wolves, Ayton, Henderson, Sharpe, SGA

Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert picked up an ill-timed technical for making the “money” sign to officials after fouling out Friday night, but he didn’t back away from his accusation that their calls can be influenced by gambling, according to Joe Vardon and Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.

The technical, which allowed the Cavaliers to tie a game that they went on to win in overtime, came after Gobert was whistled for his sixth foul with 27.8 seconds remaining. He admitted that his reaction was a mistake, but he believes the reasons behind it are justified.

“Mistakes happen. Referees make mistakes, too,” Gobert said. “But sometimes I think it’s more than mistakes. I think everyone that’s in this league knows. I think it’s got to get better.” After saying he expects to be fined for his comments, Gobert added, “I know the betting and all that is becoming bigger and bigger, but it shouldn’t feel that way.”

Gobert has a history of being outspoken about officiating throughout his career, the authors note. Speaking to reporters because head coach Chris Finch was ill, assistant Micah Nori called it “unacceptable” to get T’d up in that situation, no matter how strongly Gobert feels about the subject.

“We just have to be smarter,” Nori said. “I think he made a visual or something, it’s kind of automatic. And we all know Rudy. There’s no more professional guy than him. In that moment, for him to do that, obviously he feels awful about it. We just gotta be a little bit better.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Chris Hine of The Star Tribune examines how the Timberwolves can survive without Karl-Anthony Towns, who’s lost for at least four weeks with a torn meniscus. Hine points to Kyle Anderson, Naz Reid, Jaden McDaniels and Mike Conley as players who have to contribute more until Towns returns.
  • The Trail Blazers welcomed back starting center Deandre Ayton and rookie point guard Scoot Henderson tonight. Ayton had been sidelined since spraining his right hand in a February 27 game, and Henderson hadn’t played since before the All-Star break because of an adductor strain. Coach Chauncey Billups said Henderson will start out under a minutes restriction, but will eventually be reinstated into the starting lineup, tweets Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report. Billups also expressed hope that Shaedon Sharpe can return from core muscle surgery before the end of the season (Twitter link). “This has been tough on him,” Billups said. “He wants to play 82 games. He’s one of those guys. … If he’s healthy, we’d love to have him back. I don’t care how much of the season is left. He’s a guy who needs those reps.”
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander believes the Thunder have the talent to compete for an NBA title this season, telling ESPN (video link), “I think we’re capable of anything.”

Northwest Notes: McDaniels, KAT, Edwards, Blazers Injuries, Kessler

With Karl-Anthony Towns out indefinitely, the Timberwolves are going to need Jaden McDaniels to step up on the offensive side of the ball in order for Minnesota to reach its potential, Michael Rand of The Star Tribune writes.

For most of the season, the Wolves’ late-game offense consisted of Mike Conley getting Towns and Anthony Edwards in the best positions to succeed offensively. With or without Towns, McDaniels getting more involved could increase the team’s ceiling, Rand writes.

McDaniels is averaging 10.5 points per game while shooting 50.5% from the field and 36.0% from deep this season. However, he’s taking roughly the same number of shots per night as Conley and Rudy Gobert, and with the Wolves ranking 26th in offensive rating in fourth quarters, Rand believes McDaniels’ high ceiling holds the key to Minnesota’s improvement.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • There’s no replacement for Towns and his All-Star production, but Conley expressed optimism in the rest of a roster that has helped the Timberwolves post a West-best 43-19 record this season. “We’ve got full confidence in our roster for guys to step up and make plays in his absence,” Conley said, per Alan Horton of Wolves Radio (Twitter link). “We’ve had some experience with this [last season] and we’re gonna have to do it by committee, there’s no way to take up what he does with just one guy.
  • In their first game after the Towns injury news, the Timberwolves defeated the Pacers 113-111 behind 44 points from Anthony Edwards. Edwards exited for the locker room with a foot injury (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski), but returned to propel Minnesota to the win with 16 points and a big game-sealing block in the fourth quarter.
  • The Trail Blazers are dealing with a plethora of injuries to key players as the season winds on, with Malcolm Brogdon (elbow, out since Feb. 2), Shaedon Sharpe (abdominal, out since Jan. 11) and Scoot Henderson (thigh, out since Feb. 15) among them. Head coach Chauncey Billups provided updates on that trio, according to Rose Garden Report’s Sean Highkin (Twitter link). Brogdon is doing more work but is still experiencing discomfort in his elbow while Sharpe has begun light shooting. Henderson is further along and could be back this weekend (Twitter link).
  • Jazz center Walker Kessler, who hasn’t played since Feb. 27, was a full participant in practice on Thursday, according to The Salt Lake Tribune’s Andy Larsen (Twitter link). While there isn’t definite news for his status in Utah’s Saturday game against Denver, it’s a step in the right direction, Larsen adds. In 51 games (17 starts) this season, Kessler is averaging 8.5 points and 7.4 rebounds.

Shaedon Sharpe Undergoes Core Muscle Surgery

FEBRUARY 9: Sharpe has undergone his core muscle procedure, according to a press release from the Trail Blazers, who stated that the guard will be reevaluated in six weeks.

FEBRUARY 6: Trail Blazers shooting guard Shaedon Sharpe will undergo corrective surgery to fix a core muscle injury, the team announced in a press release.

Sharpe hasn’t played since January 11 due to a lower abdominal strain. While attempting to ramp up his basketball activities during his rehab, Sharpe experienced worsening of his symptoms. Due to his lack of progression, it was determined that surgery was necessary. The procedure is tentatively planned for later this week.

While a timetable has yet to be determined, it’s fair to assume Sharpe’s injury could end his season, especially given that the Blazers are well out of the playoff race. The No. 7 pick in the 2022 draft, Sharpe is averaging 15.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 33.1 minutes per game this season. He has started 25 of 32 games.

As a rookie, Sharpe appeared in 80 games (15 starts), averaging 9.9 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 22.2 minutes per game.

And-Ones: Embiid, NBA Cup, Taxpayers, Sochan, Rising Stars, More

Team USA head coach Steve Kerr, who texted Sixers center Joel Embiid this week to say hello and wish him well in his recovery from knee surgery, remains hopeful that the reigning MVP will be able to play in this summer’s Olympics, writes Dan Gelston of The Associated Press.

“Our fingers are crossed he’ll be healthy this summer and able to play,” Kerr said. “He’s an amazing player and we’re really excited to have him be part of the program.”

While the Sixers are hopeful that Embiid will be able to return before the end of the season and compete in the playoffs, it wouldn’t be surprising if the big man decided to forgo the Olympics and take the summer to rest and recuperate, given the nature of his injury. There’s still plenty of time to figure out his plan though, since the Paris games are still over five months away.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • The NBA’s in-season tournament will have a new name going forward, according to the league, which announced on Thursday in a press release that the event will be known as the NBA Cup and will be sponsored by the airline Emirates. NBA referees will also begin wearing Emirates patches on their uniforms later this month, per the announcement.
  • Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link) breaks down what the luxury tax figures for 2023/24 look like after the trade deadline, noting that nine of the 10 teams projected to be taxpayers a month ago either shed salary or stood pat. The Sixers and Pelicans ducked out of the tax, while the Suns were the only one of those 10 teams to increase their payroll. The 22 non-taxpayers currently project to receive $11.5MM apiece this offseason, Marks adds.
  • Spurs sophomore Jeremy Sochan has replaced injured Trail Blazers guard Shaedon Sharpe in next weekend’s Rising Stars game, the NBA announced in a press release. The league also shared (via Twitter) the results of the Rising Stars draft, with coaches Jalen Rose, Pau Gasol, and Tamika Catchings building seven-man rosters from a 21-player pool.
  • Nuggets center DeAndre Jordan would be open to the possibility of playing in Europe later in his career, he said during an interview with Toni Canyameras from Mundo Deportivo (hat tip to BasketNews). Jordan specifically named Barcelona as a team that would pique his interest, since he loves Spain.
  • John Hollinger of The Athletic shares some observations on the trade deadline, noting that many of the would-be buyers didn’t have the assets necessary to take a big swing this week.

Northwest Notes: Lillard, Sharpe, SGA, Agbaji

Fans welcomed Bucks guard Damian Lillard back to Portland Wednesday night with a minute-long standing ovation, writes Jamal Collier of ESPN. The long-time franchise icon remains a popular figure in the city, even after a trade request that led to a summer of rumors and a standoff with management. Lillard expressed his love for Trail Blazers fans and suggested that he would like to return to the organization before his career is over.

“Because of how I feel about Portland,” he said. “How I feel about the organization here and my time that I spent here, in my mind I’ve always felt like that’s how my career would end. Right now, I’m just in a space of like, this is where I am now. I’m in Milwaukee. I wanted the opportunity to contend, and our team has an opportunity to contend for this year and years to come, and I’m just living in that. But I definitely, when I was traded, I see a day where I’ll be in a Trail Blazer uniform again before I’m done.”

Lillard asked to leave because he wants the chance to compete for a championship and he believed the Blazers’ front office was more focused on rebuilding. He admits that his relationship with the team became contentious and says he hasn’t talked to general manager Joe Cronin since the deal with Milwaukee was completed. He added that he still follows the team, particularly Anfernee Simons, whom he helped to mentor.

“You just feel the appreciation and the love,” Lillard said after the game. “I just kind of stood in it. It was like, man, this is a big deal. Just take that moment and to have everybody in the building just show me that type of love, acknowledgement of a lot of things during my time here. So, I appreciated it.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Trail Blazers guard Shaedon Sharpe is making progress in his recovery from a lower abdominal strain and will begin “light on-court activities,” the team announced on Twitter. Sharpe has been sidelined since suffering the injury in a January 11 game.
  • Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was surprised to be named an All-Star starter ahead of Stephen Curry, but his teammates recognize that the honor is well deserved, notes Marc J. Spears of Andscape. “Everybody has bought in, but it starts with him,” Chet Holmgren said. “Leadership has to start with the guy we’re looking at from the time we walk into the gym until we leave. He is one of those dudes and he stepped into that role extremely well.”
  • Ochai Agbaji is battling a shooting slump, but his contributions on defense have kept him in the Jazz lineup, per Sarah Todd of The Deseret News. “It is kind of tough,” he said. “Trying to stay ready and having in my mind that I need to get a make, and trying to make the right moves and knowing I don’t have the luxury of a lot of shots is hard. But you still have to stay ready and keep your mind right and just be ready to shoot.”

NBA Announces Player Pool For 2024 Rising Stars Event

The NBA has officially revealed the 11 rookies, 10 sophomores, and seven G League players who will take part in the Rising Stars event at All-Star weekend in Indianapolis next month.

The following players, as voted on by NBA coaching staffs, made the cut:



G League Players

As was the case last season, the Rising Stars event will consist of four teams and three games. The seven G League players will comprise one team, coached by former NBA forward Detlef Schrempf. The other 21 players will be drafted to three squads coached by former NBA and WNBA stars Pau Gasol, Jalen Rose, and Tamika Catchings.

The four teams will be split into two first-round matchups and the winners of those two games will face one another for the Rising Stars championship. The two semifinals will be played to a target score of 40 points, while the final will be played to a target score of 25 points.

All three contests will take place on Friday, February 16 as part of All-Star weekend’s opening night.