2022 NBA Mock Draft 1.0: Who will shine during March Madness?

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports
Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports /

player. 29. . Forward. San Antonio Spurs. Tari Eason. 8

This may be a lot higher than you’ll see Eason on other mock drafts and there are legitimate questions about his offensive ceiling and polish. But he’s an elite, switchable defender who consistently makes good things happen with his effort, hustle and awareness. And the fact that he put up 27.5 points on a 61.2 true shooting percentage at least implies that he can contribute on offense even if very little of it is self-created at the next level. He did make 35.5 percent of his 3-pointers this year and hit 79.6 percent from the free-throw line. If he becomes a viable spot-up threat it would answer a lot of those offensive concerns.

With their three first-round picks in this draft, I have the Spurs landing Eason, Jeremy Sochan and Patrick Baldwin Jr., building out a frontcourt with a lot of potential even if none of those three players look like future stars. But that grouping would give the Spurs a tremendous defensive foundation with a group that takes very little off the table on offense. That group, with Dejounte Murray, Devin Vassell, Josh Primo, Jakob Poeltl and Lonnie Walker, could be a shape-shifting defensive beast with the ability to score in a variety of ways.