Why the Cavs couldn’t go wrong with drafting Ochai Agbaji

Ochai Agbaji (right), Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Ochai Agbaji (right), Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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Ochai Agbaji, Kansas Jayhawks. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Before getting into this article, I would personally like to congratulate Ochai Agbaji and his family. Being drafted by an NBA team is a tremendous feat in itself, also considering you went inside the lottery is amazing as well. Next, I’d like to say good luck to Agbaji, and have fun. Embrace Cleveland and the culture. Anyways, the Cleveland Cavaliers had a good draft, in my eyes, when they selected Ochai Agbaji 14th overall from Kansas.

Agbaji is a 3-and-D wing who played all 4 years in college for Kansas, also winning a National Championship just a few months ago.

Personally, I am a fan of the pick. Even though I did say I wanted Cleveland to draft TyTy Washington Jr. in my latest article, I do think Agbaji was a solid pickup in itself. The Cavs want to make the playoffs next year and contend, and picking Agbaji just reiterates that, as our own Will Holtz emphasized. Having a player, in my opinion, that is among the most NBA-ready prospect in this draft, will really help the Cavs in their playoff hunt next season.

Some people that I know wished that the Cavaliers would’ve drafted someone like Malaki Branham, who is a younger prospect and is from Akron, Ohio. Some others wanted A.J. Griffin, who fell all the way to the 16th pick, getting drafted by the Atlanta Hawks. Personally, I don’t know who I wanted the Cavs to take. There were multiple prospects I was thinking about, but I was on the fence to be honest. But I do think Agbaji was the best choice.

Here’s why I think Agbaji was the right choice at 14.

Agbaji’s defense

The Cavaliers were one of the best defensive teams in the NBA last season, ranking in at the 5th-best team in terms of defensive rating. The Cavs’ players are known to be rugged, hard-nosed, gritty defenders. Just look at players like Evan Mobley, Isaac Okoro, and Lamar Stevens. All of them give it their all on the defensive end. For Agbaji, he’s a solid defender in his own right.

Even though he only averaged 0.9 steals per night this season, he is more of a player you put in to contest shots, more so than getting steals.

I really like his defense, I’m not going to lie. I think he can really be effective next season on the defensive end for us. A quartet of Agbaji, Okoro, Mobley, and Jarrett Allen next season is fierce on defense, and can also work offensively as well.

I personally think that he will be one of the best rookies next season, in terms of impact, too. Maybe I’m biased, I don’t know. But I do think that defensively he fits in to the Cavaliers’ culture.