clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2022 NBA Draft Profile: Tari Eason

An elite defender with size, athleticism, and tantalizing upside

Ole Miss v LSU Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Tari Eason is projected to be picked in the late first round, likely right after the lottery. He’s an athletic forward who made his name with defense and high-flying dunks.

Stats

Age: 21

Height: 6’8”

Wingspan: 7’2”

Weight: 216 lbs

Per Game: 16.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1.9 steals, 1.1 blocks

Per 40 Minutes: 27.7 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 3.2 steals, 1.8 blocks

Shooting Splits: 52.1% FG, 35.9% 3P, 80.3% FT

Advanced Stats: 61.5% TS, .294 WS/48, 14.7 BPM

Strengths

Eason has all of the physical tools that NBA teams dream of. He’s 6’8” with a 7’2” wingspan, an impressive +6. He’s highly athletic, both in speed and vertical athleticism. He has massive hands, elite length, and a good frame. He’s one of those players that looks like he was designed in a lab for the specific purpose of playing basketball.

Tari Eason’s bread and butter is defense. His 3.2 steals and 1.8 blocks per 40 minutes are wild numbers. He visibly impacts the game with his disruptiveness. Due to his physical tools, he projects to be a rare player who can genuinely guard any position, at least 1-4 and maybe 5s. He’s shown strong on-ball defense against ball handlers, and he excels in his off-ball defense. He’s a big-time playmaker on both ends of the court and excels at turning defense into offense.

Offensively, Eason is an enticing prospect. He scored at a high rate at LSU due to good finishing, adequate shooting, and an elite ability to get to the free-throw line. He created many transition opportunities and finished most of them with dunks. He drives aggressively to his right and finishes well. He’s becoming a catch-and-shoot threat from beyond the arc, although there’s still work to be done there. His best offensive skill is his ability to draw contact. He makes physical drives reminiscent of Jimmy Butler, forcing the defenders to be physical in return, often resulting in free throws.

Eason is a textbook energy guy. He plays at 100 miles per hour all game long. He attacks the boards, goes for steals, dives for loose balls, and pumps his teammates up. You can’t teach that type of effort and desire. Some have it, while others don’t. Eason has it.

Weaknesses

Tari Eason is still unpolished offensively. His handle is too loose, and he often turns the ball over when he gets ahead of himself. He’s highly right-hand dominant, rarely ever attempting left-handed drives or shots. While his jumper did improve significantly in his second NCAA season, it’s still unproven, and the mechanics have some hitches. He’s not yet a shooter off the dribble. He’ll likely be an off-ball role player in the NBA.

He tends to be over-aggressive at times, resulting in fouling too often. Improving his control on both ends of the court will go a long way.

Jazz fit

It’s not hard to see how an uber-athletic forward who thrives on defense could help the Utah Jazz. That’s exactly what this team needs. Offensively, he might not bring much to the table as a rookie, but defensively he could immediately make an impact.

How could Utah get him?

Eason is projected to be drafted in the first round, likely in the 13-18 range. Utah would need to make a trade into the mid-first round if they wanted him. While we know Mitchell and Gobert could be traded for multiple first-round picks, other options could land the Jazz a pick that could get Eason. Conley, Bogdanovic, and Clarkson are all players that could likely net a mid-first-round pick in return if they can find a buyer.

SLC Dunk’s Adam Bushman broke down a few potential trades the Jazz could make, including one that could land them Eason.


Stats via sports-reference.com