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3 ideal Ochai Agbaji landing spots in the 2022 NBA Draft

Robbie Stratakos

Ochai Agbaji capped off a four-year college career by serving as the leading scorer for the 2022 National Champion Kansas Jayhawks. Agbaji brings a smooth skill set to the table. He’s a reliable and efficient outside shooter who skies above the rim for emphatic finishes and holds his own defensively.

The 6-foot-5 Agbaji figures to be a role player in his rookie season, providing an NBA team with an athletic, plug-and-play wing. With his track record of being a leader and primary scorer, maybe Agbaji can earn a starting role down the road?

Here are three ideal landing spots for Agbaji relative to where teams are selecting.

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3. Ochai Agbaji to the New York Knicks

NCAA Basketball: Final Four-National Championship-Kansas vs North Carolina
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks don’t have a clear-cut route with the No. 11 pick, but the draft figures to drop a quality wing their way. Agbaji would be a plausible selection for New York.

Regardless of Julius Randle’s future with the franchise, the Knicks need more scoring, specifically players who can stretch the floor. The former Jayhawk would provide steady shooting to a team that was middle of the pack in that regard this season. Furthermore, Agbaji’s skill set makes for the ideal player to backup Evan Fournier, a primary shooting threat.

  • Ochai Agbaji stats (2021-22): 18.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game while shooing 47.5/40.7/74.3

Agbaji’s perimeter game would complement the attacking tendencies of RJ Barrett and give head coach Tom Thibodeau an athletic player on both ends of the floor.

All that said, the Knicks may prefer to use their lottery selection on a player who will also frequently shoot off the dribble, as opposed to someone like Agbaji who will primarily be an outside shooter.

Related: 2022 NBA Mock Draft

2. Ochai Agbaji to the New Orleans Pelicans

The Pelicans’ 2022-23 depth chart is essentially filled out even if Zion Williamson doesn’t play a single game. Of course, there are some voids to fill. Agbaji fills one of those standout voids, that being a backup shooting guard/wing.

New Orleans has a youthful and energetic second unit. Jose Alvarado is a lockdown defender. Herbert Jones is an athletic and scrappy defender. Trey Murphy III has a capable perimeter game. Jaxson Hayes and Larry Nance Jr. are athletic interior players. Agbaji gives head coach Willie Green another source of offense off the bench.

  • Ochai Agbaji NBA comparison: Devin Vassell

New Orleans was one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the NBA this season. Agbaji aids that offensive weakness, provides depth and strengthens one of their strengths through his athleticism.

The factor that could stop the Pelicans from selecting Agbaji, though, is them wanting more of an attacking scorer, as their second unit doesn’t have an eminent scoring threat.

Related: Ochai Agbaji highlights

1. Ochai Agbaji to the Sacramento Kings

NCAA Basketball: Final Four-National Championship-Kansas vs North Carolina
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Selecting Agbaji with the No. 4 pick would be a reach for the Kings. That’s where a trade back comes into play. Moving back at least five spots to take the Kansas product would be a savvy play for Sacramento.

The Kings are an inefficient team that needs to improve on the defensive end under new head coach Mike Brown. Agbaji fits the bill. If he works his way into the starting five and/or being on the court at the end of games, Agbaji can stretch the floor for the offense. With Agbaji attracting attention behind the three-point line, De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell can play in isolation and attack the rack while Domantas Sabonis works from the inside out.

Related: 2022 NBA Draft order

As it concerns a trade, the Kings can fetch a future first-rounder and/or a compelling young player from a team between picks 10-14 (Washington Wizards, Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Charlotte Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers). This trade allows the Kings to get a player who fits their rotation, corral trade ammunition and bring down their payroll a tad for next season.

Agbaji amplifies the Kings’ chances of competing for the playoffs in making them a more complementary system.