Ochai Agbaji, the Next Great ‘3 and D’ Player

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Ochai Agbaji‘s rise to an NBA-level prospect was seen as a major surprise for most. But for ones who have watched Agabji throughout his career, his rise was expected. Agbaji started his career as a redshirt at Kansas but as time went on Agbaji has gotten more of a chance with the ball and he has blossomed into a player of the year candidate at Kansas.

Ochai Agbaji, the Next Great ‘3 and D’ Player

A lot of people may view him as another great college basketball player who will struggle in the NBA but I see Agbaji as a guy who can last for 10-15 years in the league.

Three-Point Machine

Ochai Agbaji has always had a three-point stroke. In his career, Agbaji always shot around the 38% shooting mark before this season. However, as his career has progressed he has been given more of the reigns to the Kansas offense. Although he is getting the same amount of three-point attempts, his FG attempts have risen due to this. It is fair to say his confidence has skyrocketed as he is now shooting at a 50% clip from both field goal range and three-point range. Agbaji has become one of the best off-the-ball guards in this entire class. His divine stroke mixed with his uncanny ability to get himself open seems to be the new role for guards in today’s NBA.   Agabji can find his spot anywhere throughout the perimeter as anywhere past half-court seems to be in Agbajis range. 

Along with having a dominant three-point stroke, Agbaji is one of the best catch and shooters in this class. Agbaji can easily transition from the catch and into the shot and he is effective at it. The majority of Agbaji’s attempts from three have been in catch-and-shoot situations. In the NBA most role players have to be able to thrive off the catch and shoot and Agbaji is the best in the country at it.

 Athletic Specimen

Along with being a knock-down shooter, Ochai Agbaji can score above the rim due to his terrific athleticism. Anytime Agbaji is a lob threat as he has jump-out-of-the-gym athleticism. Agbaji makes up for his lack of ball-handling ability by making quick and vicious cuts to get to the rim. By having such god-gifted athleticism, Agbaji can go behind defenders and do whatever he pleases at the rim.  In transition, Agabji is a defender’s worst nightmare. He can get out in front of defenders and finish above the rim.

 

Due to his gift of god-given athletic ability, Agbaji has shown high upside on the defensive end. Although he is not known to be a lockdown defender, Agbaji thrives at getting his hands involved with plays and ripping balls out of the defender’s hands. Agbaji can guard 1-4 in the NBA due to his divine athleticism and his 6’10 wingspan.  Agbaji is just getting comfortable within his own body and skill set. With proper NBA coaching Agabji can be one of the best perimeter defenders in the league due to the potential of causing turnovers for the opponent. 

 Why would Ochai Agbaji succeed in the NBA?

The answer is simple, Ochai Agbaji is the true definition of a ‘3 and D’ player. In the NBA today, a shooting guard needs to be able to shoot the rock at an efficient clip while also having the capability to play defense.  Agbaji is capable of both. Agbaji not only has a deadly three-point shot and also has the length to be an effective defender in this league.

In my eyes, Ochai Agbaji reminds me of rising Memphis Grizzlies star Desmond Bane. Both shoot the ball at an unbelievable clip while also possessing leap-out-the-gym athleticism. Both Bane and Agbaji lack any sort of lead ball-handler capabilities but can both put a lasting effect on the game through their ‘3 and D’ capabilities.

Agbaji is currently being looked at by the scouts as a late first-round pick. I think that is a disrespect to Agbaji. The lack of lead ball-handler capability can be an issue but all the mid-round “lead ball-handler” players don’t survive in the league. By drafting a guy like Agbaji you are getting a potential all-star and effective role player that can play a crucial role in winning a championship.

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