For as much paint as they’ve slapped across the roster over the course of the past 15 months, Chicago Bulls’ executive vice president Artrras Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley have more work to do.
Arming the franchise with its first winning team since 2016 is praiseworthy—especially considering one of their prized acquisitions missed more games than he played last season. But to keep the ball rolling, Karnisovas and Eversley need to find more size, shooting, and defense.
With the 18th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft in their pocket, should LSU’s Tari Eason be on the Bulls' radar?
Who is Tari Eason?
Described by Morten Jensen of Forbes as “a tornado of energy and athleticism” on a recent episode of the Bulls Gold podcast, Eason oozes with two-way promise.
The 21-year-old played the fifth-most minutes for the Tigers as a sophomore last season, but led his team in points (16.9) and blocks (1.1). That plus his 6.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game earned him First Team All-SEC and Sixth Man of the Year honors.
While he shot 52.1% from the field, 35.9% from three, and 80.3% from the stripe on nearly six attempts, Eason figures to make more of an immediate impact on defense at the next level.
His 6-foot-8, 217-pound frame and 7-foot-2 wingspan fit snugly into the mold of today’s prototypical wing defender. His opportunism, athleticism, and grit bring that mold to life. Eason has the range to protect the rim, force tough shots on the perimeter, and sabotage would-be driving and passing lanes.
Now, some observers are concerned about his basketball IQ, shot mechanics, and ability to create when going left. But unlike his eternal motor, those things can be developed with time.
The Ringer projects Tari Eason to be drafted 16th by the Atlanta Hawks while, as of nine days ago, Sports Illustrated had him going 23rd to the Philadelphia 76ers. If Eason, who’s drawn comparisons to both Bulls’ former fourth overall Patrick Williams and Detroit Pistons’ Jerami Grant, is still on the board at 18, he seems too good of a prospect to pass up.