NBA Draft Decisions: Should Wizards Take Jeremy Sochan or Tari Eason?

With the 10th overall pick in the upcoming 2022 NBA draft, the Wizards may have to make a tough choice between two players in the same position. We cover these decisions in a series of articles, continuing with two shooting guards who could be on the board in 10th place: Baylor’s Jeremy Sochan and LSU’s Tari Eason.

Jeremy Sochan case

The Wizards could use defense and athletic potential, and those are two of Sochan’s biggest strengths. He’s only 19 years old and has a rough offensive skill set, but his mobility at 6ft 9in suggests a high NBA-level ceiling if developed properly. Sochan is fast, agile, strong and can take to the air to throw the ball.

Sochan’s best path to minutes early in his career is probably as a rebounder and defenseman. He was the sixth man of the year BIG 12 playing this role. He averaged 9.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 25.1 minutes per game. If the Wizards had picked him, it would have been a matter of long term, as he would likely be on the sidelines looking into the crowded forward mix.

However, Wizards can pay off in the long run. Possibly Sochan starts behind Rui Hachimura, Dany Avdia and Kyle Kuzma and out of their rotation. But he is so young and so athletic that in a few years he could be expected. Whether he realizes his potential will depend on defensive consistency and whether he can significantly improve his outside shot, as he only converted 29.6% of his triples last season and was not good from the free throw line (58, 9%). The ideal situation for Sochan probably requires some patience and possibly a point guard who can run around the court and set him up for light buckets.

Tari Eason case

Like Sochan, Eason is most praised for defense. He played as a backup center at LSU last season, but has shown bursts of versatility, fine motor skills and ideal wide-field performance. At 6ft 8in, Eason has a wingspan of 7ft 2ft and has recorded the biggest arms in the drafting combine. In this regard, he has many parallels with Kawhi Leonard, although it is difficult to predict if he will be the same as Leonard.

Eason was very productive last year at LSU. He shot (16.9 ppg) with solid efficiency (52.1% FG, 35.9% 3-point play, 80.3% FPG), he rebounded (6.6 rebounds) and forced a lot of passes (1.9 assists, 1.1 points). He was a fairly average freelance shooter, but hit the free throw line a lot and with significant volume. Offensively, Eason stands out the most around the ring, where he has great touch even when defenders run into him. Defensively, he is aggressive and physical, two traits that Wizards could use more of.

At 21, Eason is two years older than Sochan, but he’s also a bit of a late bloomer and has had a breakout season at LSU since moving from Cincinnati. At this point in his development, Eason is also a more polished and versatile player. Because of this, it can be said that his floor is higher than Sochan’s and he is more likely to contribute right away. The question will be how his ceiling compares, as this is very important when you choose a guy from the top 10. A lot of that will depend on how versatile he can be defensively in the NBA and how well he plays on and off the ball. shooting continues to improve.

Best for Wizards: Tari Eason

While Sochan’s long-term potential is intriguing, the Wizards seem to have a much more secure bet on Eason, who also offers many benefits in the coming years. In college, Eason was a two-way player, and the Wizards need more two-way players. Plus, it would be a lot easier to justify adding an average shooter like Eason than an average shooter like Sochan, considering the Wizards were last in the NBA in 3-pointers made last season.

Eason will now have some overlap with players from the Wizards roster. It’s basically a 3/4 combo, and they have a lot of them. But he’s the kind of hard-nosed defender that the Wizards lack, and teams can’t have too many. As long as Eason can shoot near the league average, he can fit into many lineups with the Wizards.

In the short term, Eason can influence the attack in the transition period. In the long run, it is to be hoped that the flashes he has shown as a non-dribbling creator will become a more reliable part of his game. Either way, Eason makes sense for Wizards now and in the future.

Other Wizards solution projects:

Dyson Daniels or Tai Tai Washington?

Benedict Maturin or Johnny Davis?

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