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.
TARI EASON. ON HIS HEAD @LSUBasketball #SCtop10 pic.twitter.com/WKvmmy3CPP— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 9, 2022
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
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 has absolutely massive hands, being the only player to measure with 11 inch width hands. For reference, Kawhi Leonard measured at 11.25, and is known for his enormous hands. The physicals for Tari check out as a near A+. 7'2 wingspan at 6'8 with great athleticism— Mavs / Magic Draft (@MavsDraft) May 20, 2022
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.
confirmed: Tari Takes Those. pic.twitter.com/PS6DbFShXp— LSU Basketball (@LSUBasketball) February 2, 2022
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.
ALL GAS, NO BREAKS.— LSU Basketball (@LSUBasketball) February 13, 2022
TARI EASON. pic.twitter.com/Ct3fb1xRYp
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.
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