Surely, plenty of players will be in and out of the Advocate Center over the next couple of weeks, but some names will catch the eye more easily than others. Tari Eason is one of those players.
According to The Athletic’s Josh Robbins, the LSU standout has officially worked out for the Chicago Bulls. Eason checks in as ESPN’s 18th-ranked prospect in the class of 2022, which also happens to be where Arturas Karnisovas and Co. are slated to pick on draft night.
LSU's Tari Eason said he has upcoming workouts scheduled with Cleveland, Memphis and San Antonio. He said he's already worked out for Minnesota, Charlotte, Atlanta, Chicago, Oklahoma City and New York. This morning, he worked out with Washington.
— Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) June 6, 2022
Of course, this doesn’t mean Eason will be the player take off the board in that spot, but he has quickly become one of the more widely discussed prospects in the Bulls universe as draft night nears. The six-foot-eight 21-year-old is easily one of the best forwards in the draft, and he provides the kind of defensive versatility and raw athleticism that seems to align with what the front office could be looking to add to the roster.
With that in mind it comes as no surprise that several mock drafters have already tried to put him in a Bulls uniform:
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) May 31, 2022
Patrick talks a ton more about Eason in that post above, and I also touch on some of his intriguing skillsets in the article here. In case your unfamiliar with what he brings to the table, though, I’ll drop a snippet from Patrick’s conversation below:
Eason, who just turned 21 on May 10, averaged 16.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 1.1 blocks on 52.1 percent shooting for the Tigers in his sophomore season at LSU. As Givony pointed out in his mock draft, the Bulls defense was putrid down the stretch, and they entered the playoffs as the second-worst defensive unit in the field of playoff teams. Eason averaged 1.9 steals per contest for LSU last season and could provide the Bulls with the help they need on that side of the ball.
After transferring from Cincinnati last summer, Eason came off the bench for LSU and averaged 24 minutes per game. Eason led LSU in scoring despite coming off the bench while shooting 56 percent from the floor and 36 percent from three-point range. He also led the SEC in per-minute scoring and finished second in steals, free throw attempts (and shot 80 percent from the charity stripe), and player efficiency rating.
When it comes to finding high-upside talent that can also fill a need right off the bat, the Bulls can do a lot worse than Eason on June 23rd. Not only does he fit with the transition-centric brand of basketball the Bulls appear keen on playing, but his sheer hustle and fight on defense should buy him valuable playing time as he develops his offensive game.
As things currently stand, he’s one player near the top of my draft night wish list.