In the 2021 draft, the Brooklyn Nets selected four players as well as gaining draft rights to the Suns 29th overall pick for Landry Shamet. The Nets selected guard Cameron Thomas with the 27th pick and center Day’ron Sharpe with the 29th in the first round. This was followed by forward Kessler Edwards at 44, guard Marcus Zegarowski, and forward RaQuan Gray at 59, all in the second round. The Nets have signed both Cameron Thomas and Day’Ron Sharpe. Let’s see what every rookie signed has to offer Brooklyn this season. You have stumbled upon the second article in the Nets Prospect Profile series. This article will focus on the rebounding and shot stuffing freshman center out of North Carolina, Day’Ron Sharpe.
Side note: I began writing this article before the Summer League started and ended up on a brief hiatus. I am only focusing on Sharpe’s stats and highlights in college instead of highlights in the Summer League.
Coming out of North Carolina as a freshman, Day’Ron Sharpe is 19 years old. He is 6’11” and 265 lbs. Sharpe’s wingspan and reach are not available due to him not entering the 2021 NBA Combine. He played 29 games as a freshman for the Tar Heels averaging 19.2 minutes. Over these games, Sharpe averaged 9.5 points, 7.6 total rebounds, and 1.4 assists. He averaged 0.8 steals, and 0.9 blocks. Sharpe shot .519% for field goals, .505 from the line, and has only attempted two 3’s for the season. He missed both.
For Day’Ron Sharpe, the tale begins at the legendary Montverde Academy in Montverde, Florida. The academy is widely known by sports fans, as being a starting point for notable ballers such as RJ Barrett, Cade Cunningham, Scottie Barnes, Ben Simmons, and D’Angelo Russell. During his time at Montverde Academy, Sharpe was named a McDonald’s All-American and a Jordan Brand All-American. Sharpe was seen as a five-star prospect coming out of high school and was ranked the 5th best center at that time. At UNC, he made the All-ACC Freshman Team.
If there was a throwback NBA big man in this draft class, his name would be Day’Ron Sharpe. Sharpe was reported as the best rebounder in this class, as well as one of the best post scorers and shot blockers. He is able to push through defenders with jump hooks and over the shoulder jumpers. Sharpe has excellent timing and athleticism. Sharpe’s freshman year showed great potential as an interior force in the NBA. He has shown great ball handling for a big man. Sharpe also has a great instinct for chasing rebounds, which should be an improvement for a Nets team who lacked rebounding.
In a league that relies on spacing and threes, the role for a traditional NBA big man is losing its value. Sharpe’s play from the free throw line isn’t impressive. Sharpe makes impressive blocks, but he has trouble being a consistent shot blocker. He struggles with blocking the pick and roll. Sharpe is great with offensive rebounds, but could improve on his defensive rebounding. Sharpe is not considered to be a volume scorer as he averaged under ten points per game.
The Brooklyn Nets lack big men and Day’Ron Sharpe is exactly what they need. Sharpe provides great rebounding, can get into the paint quick, and can even rack up a few points. I would not expect Sharpe to be a volume scorer coming off the bench. I think that Sharpe will be a good big man off the bench, and will help provide second chance points. Overall, I think the Nets drafted and signed a good bench player who should help make an impact for the East’s number one contender.