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Thunder Draft: Developing Upside with Tari Eason

Oklahoma City has a history of developing raw prospects.

In the upcoming draft, there’s quite a few players that have just started to scratch the surface of their potential. The Oklahoma City Thunder could target these prospects to get in their system to develop.

One player that fits that mold is Tari Eason. An explosive forward that plays with passion, he’s proven he’s an NBA talent but has the upside to blossom into a legitimate contributor at the next level.

Through two college seasons, he’s spent one year playing for Cincinnati and one for LSU. In what was a breakout sophomore campaign, he showed the ability to improve his game and develop as a player.

Tari Eason, 2022 NBA Draft

Last season, Eason produced 16.9 points and 6.6 rebounds per contest in just 24.4 minutes per game. Simply put, he was highly productive in every minute that he was on the floor.

Similar to Jerami Grant, Oklahoma City could help mold him into a complimentary star in the NBA over his first several seasons. Eason stands at 6-foot-8 with a solid frame and has the ability to defend and space the floor as a forward.

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An extremely physical prospect with an body ready for the NBA, Eason is an excellent defender. He also is aggressive driving to the rim and drawing fouls. When defenders play off, he’s been able to knock down perimeter shots, converting on 35.9% of his 3-pointers last season.

Tari Eason, 2022 NBA Draft

Although he has the ability to create on offense, Eason could still improve on that front. Additionally, forwards in the modern NBA are tasked with handling the ball quite a bit. He’s sometimes been loose with the ball, which will need to be worked on at the next level.

Regardless, Eason has the tools to be productive in the NBA. He may not have the superstar ceiling that the top prospects in the class have, but impactful role players are extremely important for teams that want to make the playoffs.

Outside of the Thunder’s top pick, they’ll need to take complimentary players that have a high ceiling in the first round. Eason could be the perfect fit in OKC with his desire to win games and a high motor.

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