By virtue of the 14th overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, Ochai Agbaji is the newest member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Final Four MOP Ochai Agbaji is off to Cleveland
— Barstool Bench Mob (@stoolbenchmob) June 24, 2022
As a 6-foot-6 forward with tremendous athleticism, a nice outside shot and defensive ability, he can fit in well with the team, especially considering how badly it needs productive 3-and-D wings.
With Darius Garland and Evan Mobley bound for stardom, as well as a solid defensive center in Jarrett Allen, the best version of Agbaji could make the Cavs into a very good or even a great team in the not-too-distant future.
He is an interesting prospect, and fans across Northeast Ohio should be feeling optimistic and even excited about him.
Here are three interesting and important facts about the soon-to-be Cavs rookie.
Agbaji Played A Full Four Seasons Of College Ball
In the modern era of the NBA, most college players who end up getting drafted only spend one, maybe two years in school, simply because there is too much money to be made in the pros.
It comes in stark contrast to several decades ago, when staying in school for four years was the rule rather than the exception.
However, a player such as Agbaji who does so has his advantages.
During his first couple of years, he was mostly a role player with limited ability, but he has blossomed in his last two seasons with the University of Kansas Jayhawks.
This season, he averaged 18.8 points per game while shooting 47.5 percent overall and 40.7 percent from 3-point range.
Sometimes, that third or fourth year of college is where the compound effect kicks in, and all those years of training and learning the game truly start to pay off and show up in a player’s production.
As a result, Agbaji may be a more mature and NBA-ready prospect than most.
Agbaji Has Impressive Athleticism
One of Agbaji’s best attributes is his athleticism.
According to NBA.com, his max vertical leap was recorded at 39 inches during the draft combine, which was among the highest of all prospects.
He also has a wingspan of 6-foot-10, which seems to accentuate his abilities on the defensive end of the floor.
Because he can leap, Agbaji can throw down monstrous dunks in transition, as well as jubilant jams off backdoor lobs.
Ochai Agbaji Highlights pic.twitter.com/inQaeNpADD
— Savant Hoops (@SavantHoops) June 22, 2022
One thing the Cavs need is to play at a faster pace and get many more fast-break scores, and with Agbaji’s physical qualities, he can help them address those issues right away.
Agbaji Can Play Defense
Agbaji’s high-level physical attributes also allow him to play effective defense, but his abilities on that end aren’t sorely attributable to his athleticism.
He is a good one-on-one defender who can switch onto players at different positions, and scouts feel he has the potential to become a lockdown defender.
Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has built a culture based on defense, and the team finished seventh in defensive rating despite a lack of reliable wing defenders.
Agbaji can team up with Mobley and Allen to truly make the Cavs a team that is next to impossible to score lots of points against.