What Are Jazz Getting In Rookie Ochai Agbaji?
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz acquired rookie Ochai Agbaji, Collin Sexton, and Lauri Markkanen in their blockbuster trade that sent Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While NBA fans may be familiar with veterans Sexton and Markannen, Agbaji is likely a mystery.
Here’s a look at what Agbaji can offer the Jazz in his rookie season.
Jazz Rookie Ochai Agbaji
Agbahi was selected by the Cavaliers with the 14th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
The wing enjoyed a productive four-year career at Kansas that culminated in the forward being named the 2022 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player after leading the Jayhawks to the college basketball championship in April.
Agbaji averaged 18.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.6 assists while shooting an impressive 47.5 percent from the floor and 40.7 percent from the three-point line as a senior.
— Ben Anderson (@BensHoops) September 1, 2022
Physically, Agbaji has good size for an NBA wing standing 6-foot-5, with a 6-foot-10 wingspan and a 215-pound frame.
The rookie also offers plus athleticism with a 39-inch max vertical which pairs well with his long, muscular frame.
On the floor, Agbaji can make an immediate impact with his three-point shooting which stretches he showed can stretch out to NBA range while at college, and on the defensive end where his length and athleticism are on full display.
At Kansas, Agbaji was a lethal threat when left open, especially from the corners as a catch and shooter option. When defenders would overcorrect to defend the perimeter he’d beat them for easy backdoor lob plays at the basket.
On defense, Abgaji was able to frustrate smaller opponents with his superior size and agility, though inevitably that will take time to develop it the NBA.
Despite his strong shooting numbers, most of Agbaji’s success came with his feet set in half-court sets. The Kansas guard struggled to shoot off the dribble or in transition which will limit his versatility at the next level.
Additionally, Agbaji has limited ball handling skills which will prevent him from creating his own shot in the NBA. He will add value as a floor spacer but offers very little as a shot creator or playmaker at this point in his career.
Agbaji’s game evolved considerably during his time at Kansas which offers some hope he will continue to grow as an NBA player, but as a 22-year-old, he may be more of a finished product than other players selected in the lottery.
By all reports, Abaji has a high character and was willing to put in the work to transform into a first-round draft pick at Kansas. Those traits teamed with the extra spacing in the NBA, and the Jazz’s history of development bodes well for his career.
Though Agbaji likely doesn’t have true star potential, he can become the type of high-level role player the Jazz will need to reach new heights in their rebuild.
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