Ochai Agbaji – a 6’5” shooting guard – is projected to go in the 13-18 range of the 2022 NBA Draft. Agbaji’s limited ceiling pushes him out of the top 10, but he possesses one of the highest floors in this draft outside of the top 5 picks. At 22-years-old, his age will also heavily factor into his draft slot.
Ochai Agbaji Scouting Report
Agbaji just finished his 4th season at Kansas after steadily improving every year. This past season, he averaged 18.8 PPG, 5.1 RPG, and 1.6 APG on a 47/40/74 shooting split. The Jayhawks won the National Championship, and Agbaji earned NCAA Tourney Most Outstanding Player. Agbaji was also a consensus All-American and Big 12 Tourney MVP.
Weight: 216 lbs
College: Kansas Jayhawks
Strengths: Agbaji is an excellent catch and shoot threat who shot a 40.7 3PT% on 6.5 3PA. His quick release and tight form allow him to launch from deep with minimal space. He excelled from the corners, which is the most desirable three-point attempt. Agabji moves with purpose off-ball and relocates to the optimal space behind the arc. His understanding of angles coming off screens is the root behind his open looks. If opponents play him too closely, he catches them off-guard by cutting to the basket for a layup. Agbaji also acts as a dangerous transition threat because he can fill in the lanes and knock down a three-pointer.
His perimeter defense is rock-solid, and it should translate immediately to the NBA. Although Agbaji is 6’5”, he can guard 1-3 (and potentially 4) due to his 6’10” wingspan and advanced technique. When guarding in isolation, he has superb footwork and balance. Opponents struggle to drive around him, as Agbaji seemingly always stays in front of the ball handler. Overall, Agbaji is a fantastic 3&D prospect with a high basketball IQ.
Weaknesses: While he doesn’t have many defensive limitations, Agbaji’s offensive ceiling is capped. He cannot reliably create for himself off the dribble, which means he requires teammates to set his shot up. His lacking ball handling presented itself on drives, as he struggled to find space (especially when he went to his left). His playmaking and court vision is subpar, and I doubt whether he even becomes a secondary playmaker. Agbaji’s mid-range shot is a work in progress, and he only really thrives from three-point land. I don’t think Agbaji will ever develop into an elite offensive player; however, shooting and perimeter defense is always in demand.
Ochai Agbaji Stats
Ochai Agbaji NBA Draft Ranking, Team Fit, Landing Spot
Draft Ranking: Agbaji sits at 15 on my big board because of his likely future as an excellent 3&D piece. Other prospects certainly provide higher potential, but Agbaji is a developed player who can contribute from Day 1. That’s not something to be taken lightly considering busts happen every draft.
Team Fit: Agbaji’s best fit is with the Atlanta Hawks at 16th overall. They desperately need to find Trae Young a backcourt partner who can defend multiple positions while still spacing the floor. Atlanta wants to contend immediately, and the polished Agbaji follows that perfectly. The Hawks can run a lineup of Young, Agbaji, Hunter, Collins, and Capela, which looks competitive and balanced. This scenario may be moot though because Collins, Capela, and the 16th pick are on the trading block.
Landing Spot: With Agbaji expected to land in the 13-18 range, another logical destination is the Cleveland Cavaliers at 14. Their small forward options are too one-sided, as Isaac Okoro is a defensive specialist and Lauri Markkanen is all offense. Agbaji would strike a balance between the two and allow Cleveland to run a formidable lineup of Garland, LeVert, Agbaji, Mobley, and Allen. Three-point shooting is especially important since Allen has no shooting range. And although Agbaji is best suited at shooting guard, he still possesses the tools to perform at small forward. I also like his fit with the Nuggets at 21 should he slide on draft day. Denver’s perimeter defense was awful, and Jokic is even more terrifying with elite catch and shoot players surrounding him. Agbaji will aid their title aspirations as a win-now 3&D threat.
Ochai Agbaji NBA Comparison
Agbaji’s game is exceptionally similar to Spurs Danny Green. Both are elite catch and shoot threats with off the dribble and playmaking limitations. Their similar shot profiles and high basketball IQ mirror each other, and both wings hound opponents through suffocating perimeter defense. Agbaji (6’5”, 6’10” wingspan) and Green (6’6”, 6’10” wingspan) even have the same frame and enter the NBA at 22-years-old! A terrible playoff run with the Lakers wrongfully diminished Green’s reputation. He was a vital piece for the Spurs dynasty, which cannot be forgotten. In the 2014 Finals, Green produced 9.2 PPG and 2 SPG on a 45 3PT%. If Agbaji matches or surpasses Green, then a team will have found a steal.