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
Tari Eason #17 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

17. Houston Rockets – Tari Eason, LSU

Tari Eason was one of the draft’s most polarizing players in the pre-draft process. His supporters saw a high-energy do-it-all forward at LSU with excellent defensive playmaking. His skeptics saw an inefficient scorer who was in-between positions and didn’t have enough offensive upside to be a long-term starter.

Well, everyone gets to take a victory lap, although Eason certainly does look like he can start in the league. He was everywhere on the court as a rookie, racking up steals, blocks and rebounds like he was gathering candy after a pinata burst. His motor is tremendous, and few players in the entire league could ever hope to outwork him.

That motor is necessary, because Eason was also a terrible shooter and finisher; being inefficient on layups, mid-range shots and 3-pointers is not a great place to be. He has all of the tools to be the kind of player any team wants to have, but he’ll need to either finish at a high level or improve as a shooter. The Rockets could have taken Walker Kessler here, but otherwise landed on an exciting player that they would likely take again in a redraft.

Grade: B+