Ochai Agbaji would be a Cleveland Cavalier on Thursday night, if ESPN’s last mock draft released on Tuesday is any indication of his destination.
Agbaji was one of four Big 12 players that made it into the two-round mock draft. The NBA Draft is set for 7 p.m. central on Thursday.
Cleveland has the No. 14 overall selection, which is the last selection that is part of the ‘Lottery’ portion of the draft, made up of teams that did not make the playoffs or the play-in tournament.
Agbaji led the Jayhawks to a national championship, was a consensus all-American, earned All-Big 12 Player of the Year and Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four last season, his fourth with the Jayhawks. Agbaji had career highs in scoring (18.6 points) and rebounds (5.1) last season.
ESPN sees Agbaji as a ‘3-and-D’ prospect that can contribute immediately to a team that is on the cusp of slipping into the postseason.
But Agbaji wasn’t the Big 12’s highest drafted player in this mock.
Baylor forward Jeremy Sochan, who played just one season at Baylor, went No. 13 to the Charlotte Hornets. If Sochan goes to the Hornets, it would be the second straight season that Charlotte took a Big 12 forward. Last season, the Hornets drafted Texas forward Kai Jones.
Sochan was an All-Big 12 honorable mention and All-Big 12 Freshman selection after averaging 9.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.8 assists on an average of 25 minutes per game last season.
Kansas guard Christian Braun, who declared early for the NBA Draft and decided to stay in the draft, slipped into the first round at No. 30 to the Denver Nuggets.
Braun averaged 14.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game last season, all of which were career-highs.
The fourth Big 12 player in the mock was Baylor forward Kendall Brown, who, like Sochan, left Baylor after one season. At one time, Brown was touted as a first-round pick. But in this mock Brown fell into the second round, going No. 42 to the New York Knicks. New York took West Virginia guard Miles McBride and Texas forward Jericho Sims in last year’s draft.
Matthew Postins can be found on Twitter @PostinsPostcard