The trio of Tigers to enter the 2022 NBA Draft have all inked deals with an opportunity to showcase their talent at the next level. After Tari Eason, the SEC 6th Man of the Year, was drafted No. 17 overall by the Houston Rockets, it left both Darius Days and Shareef O’Neal on the board.
Days worked out for a number of teams over the course of his pre-draft process, namely the San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings. Once the draft concluded Thursday evening, leaving Days undrafted, a number of suitors were in line to land the stretch-big man.
Ultimately signing a deal to join the San Antonio Spurs Summer League team, Days now has the chance to prove himself over the course of July and earn a two-way contract with an NBA team. Days is not limited to just the Spurs. If San Antonio isn’t prepared to offer him a deal, Days has the ability to sign with anyone who feels ready to add him to their organization. Though the Spurs have been interested in Days since day one.
Joining a great player developmental franchise in the San Antonio Spurs, Days lands in a great situation. If all goes right, he’ll have the chance to learn under one of the top NBA head coaches in league history, Greg Popovich.
For Shareef O’Neal, who entered the transfer portal before electing to keep his name in the 2022 NBA Draft, he also earned a Summer League contract. O’Neal signed a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, suiting up in the purple and gold yet again.
Like Days, O’Neal will get the chance to prove himself against professional competition with his eyes set on earning an NBA contract. Over the last few days, O’Neal revealed that his father, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, was actually pushing for him to stay in college, but Shareef felt ready for the next chapter.
"We kind of bump heads about this process," Shareef O'Neal said in a video news conference. "He wanted me to stay in school. I wanted to better myself through this. He knows I'm working out with teams. But I'm not going to lie, we ain't talked about this. I'm kind of just going through it. He didn't do any pre-draft workouts; he just got straight on the [Orlando Magic], so it's a different grind."
Now, the younger O’Neal has the chance to prove himself with a franchise his father brought a number of championships to.
All three former Tigers have earned an opportunity to showcase their skills at the next level and keep the LSU lineage going in the NBA.