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Ochai Agbaji Breaks Silence on Jazz Trade, Sends Message

What can the Utah Jazz expect from Ochai Agbaji?

On Tuesday, Ochai Agbaji broke his silence on landing with the Utah Jazz via trade as part of the Donovan Mitchell transaction with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“When I first found out about the trade, it was kinda my ‘Welcome to the NBA’ moment," Agbaji said. "I haven’t even played a single game, a single minute of NBA action and I’ve already been traded. I see it as a good opportunity. Anywhere where I ended up, I think would have been a good opportunity for me and I’m going to make the best of it. I’m excited to be here.”

The Naismith Player of the Year finalist was a huge part of the Kansas Jayhawks winning the 2022 National Championship. Agbaji is a hard worker and became a great player after four years with the Jayhawks. 

His talent was progressive until his breakout senior year when he averaged 18.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. Agbaji has terrific size at 6-foot-5 and will be polished enough going into the NBA that he will be ready to make an impact. Tony Jones of The Athletic wants to see the Jazz give him minutes.

"No matter what happens I want to see Agbaji getting 20-25 min a night by February. I think he has a chance to be very good in this league," Jones said in a Twitter exchange.

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With the stockpile of guards and the likelihood that Bojan Bogdanovic will be traded by the start of the season, the Jazz may depend on Agbaji's availability for minutes at forward. Although he's a rookie, Agbaji brings a sense of experience from his championship run and four years at Kansas to help steady a young team. 

Agbaji can be dependent if nothing else as a 3 and a defensive player that is always working on his game to improve year after year. As a freshman, he only shot 30.7% from three-point territory but improved that to 40.7% as a senior.

The Jazz, as an organization, have a great track record of player development, and if Agbaji comes in ready to work, there is no question that he will be an impactful player soon.

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