Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Zach Edey is still in play as a potential lottery pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.

Purdue v Connecticut
Purdue v Connecticut / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

After having one of the most distinguished and successful collegiate careers in recent memory at Purdue, 7-foot-4 center Zach Edey is reportedly still viewed by some as a potential lottery pick in the upcoming 2024 NBA Draft. 

According to ESPN's Jonathan Givony, "Edey has quite a few fans around the NBA at this point, and there are plenty of executives who say they have him ranked as a lottery pick or even as a top-10 prospect because of how well he rates in their analytics models."

Zach Edey has more than just size, which makes him effective. His defensive presence is prominent, he has elite touch around the rim, and he has continued to develop and keep working on his shot from both inside and behind the arc. He has also proven to not be a liability at the free throw line (71.1%) at Purdue, and that carries a lot of weight at the NBA level. 

At the NBA Combine, he measured 7-foot-5 in shoes, 299 pounds, a 9-75 standing reach, and a near 7-foot-11 wingspan. On many draft boards, he is going in the 20–30 range, but his already proven abilities that he has shown throughout his career in college go a long way in evaluating what a player can bring to the table for your NBA franchise. 

Zach Edey is a two-time player of the year for the Boilermakers, and last season he averaged 25.2 points, 12.2 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, and 2.0 assists. The year prior, as a junior, he averaged 22.3 points and 12.9 rebounds. Edey led Purdue to the NCAA championship this past year, where they lost to the Connecticut Huskies. However, through six NCAA Tournament games, he was averaging a staggering 29.5 points per game. 

His overall upside as an NBA prospect may not be exactly through the roof, but in an NBA Draft with not a bunch of listed upside value, there are many teams who could see him as a key piece at the center position that can man the inside, clean up defensive and offensive rebounds, and score around the rim. 

The Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, and Milwaukee Bucks all pose as potential suitors for Edey. The biggest concern is that the NBA is very matchup-oriented. So there could be occasions where he gets played off the court due to his lack of speed, mobility, and not being able to space the floor. 

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Nonetheless, there will be teams out there that see the value, and executives already do. For him to climb into the lottery, he would have to be in the top 14. Right now, it seems he remains on the outside looking in, with just over a month to go until the June 27th NBA Draft.