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Blazers rookie Shaedon Sharpe suffers brutal injury setback after NBA Summer League debut

Damian Lillard, Shaedon Sharpe, Blazers

Shaedon Sharpe’s first competitive basketball game in nearly a year didn’t exactly go as planned. The Portland Trail Blazers announced in a statement that an MRI revealed the rookie guard has a small labral tear in his left shoulder, cutting his highly anticipated Summer League tenure short after just a few minutes of court time.

An MRI taken yesterday revealed Trail Blazers guard Shaedon Sharpe with a small labral tear in his left shoulder, the team announced today. Sharpe will begin immediate rest and rehabilitation. He will miss the remainder of Summer League and will be reevaluated in 10-14 days. The injury occurred during Portland’s Summer League game against Detroit on Thursday, July 7.

Sharpe suffered the injury during the first quarter of his unofficial NBA debut on Thursday in Portland’s Las Vegas Summer League opener. He came up limp after making contact with Detroit Pistons rookie Jaden Ivey on a switch defensively, immediately grabbing at his left shoulder.

Sharpe quickly went to the bench and didn’t return for the rest of the game. He finishes Summer League action with two points and one turnover in six minutes of play, shooting 1-of-3 overall and missing both of his tries from deep. Sharpe’s lone score came just before his injury, when he drove baseline on a closeout before stopping, turning over his right shoulder and swishing a fadeaway jumper.

Portland selected Sharpe with the No. 7 overall pick on June 23rd despite him sitting out games during his lone season at the University of Kentucky.

The Canada native reclassified from the High School Class of 2023 following a star-turning performance on the Nike EYBL circuit last summer, vaulting him to the top of recruiting rankings. Sharpe originally planned to play the 2022-23 season in Lexington after joining the Wildcats in January, but opted to forego college basketball altogether with his draft stock cemented in the lottery.

Portland’s roster has finally taken shape in wake of a long-awaited overhaul at the trade deadline. Sharpe’s youth and inexperience all but ensure he won’t be a true impact player as a rookie, and his injury only adds to the likelihood the 19-year-old could struggle to find consistent minutes with the Blazers next season despite their relative lack of depth.