Pippen Ain’t Easy’s 2022 NBA Mock Draft: Final two-round forecast

Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren, 2022 NBA Mock Draft (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren, 2022 NBA Mock Draft (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
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Tari Eason, 2022 NBA Mock Draft, Chicago Bulls
Tari Eason, 2022 NBA Mock Draft (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Houston Rockets. TyTy Washington. 17. player. 169. . PG

The Houston Rockets are another team that threatens to snipe a player of interest from the Chicago Bulls here at the 17th spot. Like the Bulls, the Rockets are loaded up on guards that can score; unlike the Bulls, however, the Rockets are seriously lacking a primary playmaker that can set his teammates up and make life easier for Jalen Green.

Enter TyTy Washington, who averaged 3.9 assists and a stellar 2.44 assist-to-turnover ratio despite not even being the lead ball-handler as a freshman for Kentucky. With the Rockets, TyTy would be allowed to have the ball in his hands much more often either as the lead reserve guard or as a table-setter for Green, Kevin Porter Jr., and the likely third overall pick Banchero.

player. 24. . F. Chicago Bulls. Tari Eason. 18

This may be a bit of wishful thinking, as I think there’s at least a pretty good chance Tari Eason is taken at any one of the three previous picks, but he would be an ideal selection for the Bulls here at No.18. In fact, any of the next three players on this list would be very welcome additions to Chicago—but Eason should be the target here.

As for his fit, Eason’s talent is undeniable and would be a welcome addition to the Chicago Bulls. Despite being forced to come off the bench and play just 24 minutes per game, Eason posted an incredible average of 16.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 3 combined steals and blocks per game as a sophomore at LSU.

What really jumps off the page here is how Eason rates in several advanced statistical categories. Tari maintained an impressive 61.5% true shooting percentage on offense while dominating the defensive side of things. This explains why Eason had the third-highest box plus/minus in the nation last season (behind only Keegan Murray and Chet Holmgren) as well as the third-highest win shares per 40 minutes (behind only Keegan Murray and Oscar Tshiebwe).

Low basketball IQ concerns among scouts limit his potential to go in the high lottery, but Eason’s athletic ability and perfect frame for basketball are just impossible to ignore this late in the first round. He could immediately make an impact as one of the Bulls’ best on-ball defenders and has already proven a bench role won’t stop him from making an impact on both ends of the court.

Barring any surprises in the early draft order, Tari Eason should be the clear pick for the Bulls here if he’s still on the board.

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