LSU standout Tari Eason lands with Rockets at pick No. 17 of NBA draft

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It wasn't quite the lottery placement many had predicted, but LSU standout Tari Eason won't have to travel too far from Baton Rouge for the start of his NBA career after being selected by the Houston Rockets at No. 17 overall.

Eason was the first player selected out of LSU in the 2022 NBA draft, and the pick marked the second consecutive season the Tigers landed a player in the first round.

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Eason averaged 16 points and 7 rebounds in his lone season with the Tigers after transferring from Cincinnati, leading LSU to a NCAA Tournament bid. Eason, at 6-8, 216 pounds, will join a suddenly loaded Houston backcourt along with fellow SEC star Jabari Smith, who fell to No. 3 and the Rockets after being the presumptive top selection. The Magic drafted Paolo Banchero No. 1, with the Rockets selection Chet Holmgren at No. 2.

The Rockets selected Kentucky point guard Tyty Washington with the No. 29 overall pick, which was acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves for the No. 26 pick.

Fellow LSU forwards Darius Days and Shareef O'Neal were also entered into the 2022 NBA draft, but had yet to hear their names called as of 9 p.m.