Sizing draft pick Tari Eason

Here’s a look at Eason’s game:

Strength: Defensive Versatility

At 6-foot-8 and around 220 pounds, Eason was able to coach a myriad of forwards last season. He was quick enough laterally to keep up with bigger guards and recover to the edge to contest shots well. He was tall enough to match attackers and even some tall men, even losing several inches in height.

Eason simply fits the mold of switchable, gritty defensive forwards that teams love in today’s NBA. He enters the passing lanes and makes instinctive plays. He took turns guarding teammate Smith in Southeastern Conference play while picking up guards for the team. In the NBA, he’s likely to defend against the wings and defend the biggest forwards and the smallest big men with confidence.

Expect Eason to defend a two-to-four guard range, and maybe play five small balls in some streaks this season. After all, it’s not like giving up a few inches of height in the frontcourt was something Houston avoided.

Weakness: Offensive Consistency

Eason averaged an impressive 16.9 points in just 24.4 minutes. A mix of transition buckets, getting your head in the half court and just being in the right places led to big results for the second. But there have been holes on that side of the ball throughout the season.

The numbers indicate that Eason is an above-average jump shooter, as he shot 35.9 percent from deep last season. But it came at low volume at just 2.2 attempts, and its firing mechanics felt less smooth than its peers. There is obviously room for improvement, and it will take some work to dispel the idea that his shooting is a question mark. If Eason ends up being a positive shooter, his value will skyrocket.

Eason also appeared out of control at times in transition or when handling the ball. At his best, Eason is a scary sight in transition with the ball in his hands. At worst, he can throw reckless passes or lose control of his grip when multiple defenders throw lightning at him. How well Eason cleans up his offensive holes will determine how versatile he can be for the Rockets‘ roster.

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