NBA Draft: Grading every first-round pick after rookie year

2022 NBA Draft Class. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images
2022 NBA Draft Class. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images /
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NBA Draft
MIAMI, FLORIDA – MARCH 13: Ochai Agbaji #30 of the Utah Jazz looks on against the Miami Heat during the third quarter at Miami-Dade Arena on March 13, 2023 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) /

14. Cleveland Cavaliers – Ochai Agbaji, Kansas

From the moment the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Ochai Agbaji to the moment he was included in the trade for Donovan Mitchell some weeks later, he appeared to be the perfect fit for what the Cavs needed. Agbaji was a college role player who blossomed into a star and led the Kansas Jayhawks to a national title in his final season. He then came out in Summer League and flashed legitimate movement shooting, and his combination of shooting, scoring and defense made him the wing the team needed.

That went out the window when they traded him to the Jazz, but now he looks like a solid rotation player for Utah. Agbaji didn’t shoot particularly well as a rookie, but he has the skillset to fit the 3-and-D role well, and as the year went on he showed a natural inclination on cuts that should open up space for him to get open perimeter shots. Ideally, he will be a high-gravity player that defenders have to mark anywhere on the court.

Agbaji is still a mid-first-round pick, but a few players likely showed more as rookies to leapfrog him. AJ Griffin looks to be a better version of a shooting wing, and he has more on-ball pop as well. Agbaji’s college teammate Christian Braun would also be in the conversation, with more defensive impact but less shooting upside.

Grade: B-