Shaedon Sharpe, right, shakes hands with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected seventh overall by the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 23, 2022, in New York.

Shaedon Sharpe, right, shakes hands with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected seventh overall by the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 23, 2022, in New York.

John Minchillo / AP

The Portland Trail Blazers selected Shaedon Sharpe with the seventh pick in the NBA draft on Thursday, taking a chance on a player who never suited up in college.

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Sharpe, a 6-foot-6 wing from Canada, was a five-star recruit who committed to the University of Kentucky but never played for the Wildcats. He played on the practice squad during this past season, but instead of returning to campus for the 2022-23 school year, Sharpe declared for the draft.

The Blazers also had the 46th and 57th picks.

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Coming off a season marked by a spate of injuries, a new coach, a front-office shakeup and a roster overhaul, the Blazers are rebuilding around All-Star Damian Lillard.

Portland had added a piece on Wednesday, acquiring Jerami Grant from the Detroit Pistons, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither team announced the agreement.

Lillard, who was injured for much of last season, played with Grant on the gold medal-winning U.S. team at last year's Tokyo Olympics. Grant averaged 19.2 points in 47 games last season with the Pistons.

The Blazers finished 27-55 last season, their worst record since 2005-06. Clearly eying draft position late in the season, Portland lost 11 games by more than 30 points after the All-Star break.

Related: Portland Trail Blazers name Joe Cronin general manager

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