Zach Edey NBA mock draft, scouting report: When will Purdue star be picked in 2024 NBA Draft?

Purdue basketball has college basketball’s biggest and brightest star, and that star is Zach Edey.

 

The center’s accolades are quickly filling up his trophy case as he and Purdue seek something that has eluded him and the Boilermakers: a national championship. With Purdue making its first Final Four appearance since 1980, the Boilermakers are hoping to win their first ever national championship. Their only appearance at this stage came in 1969, when John Wooden’s UCLA juggernaut defeated Purdue.

 

 

Questions do abound around Edey as basketball fans begin to project out his NBA future. Specifically: How well will a player with his skillset fare at the next level? Listed at 7-foot-4 and 285 pounds, Edey has attempted just two 3-pointers in his college basketball career, a number that in conjunction with his size has caused some to blanch at his NBA prospects in an up-tempo league. However, his deftness in the post and impressive scoring ability have kept him on draft boards.

 

Edey matched up well against NC State’s DJ Burns, scoring 20 points and hauling in four rebounds. In fact, it was Ben Middlebrooks giving him more trouble inside, as the Wolfpack center stripped Edey several times in the post. Now, UConn’s Donovan Clingan will present Edey’s toughest test yet. Part of what has allowed Edey to be so utterly dominant at the college level is his physicality. Clingan will put that physicality to the test.

 

 

If Edey plays well against UConn on Monday, it could start to allay some concerns about college basketball’s best player. Ultimately, Edey is largely projected as a late-first round, early second round pick.

 

Here’s a look at where Edey is expected to go in the 2024 NBA Draft.

 

Zach Edey NBA Mock Draft

 

USA Today Sports’ Jeff Zilgitt and Scooby Axson (as of March 20): No. 26 to the Washington WizardsBleacher Reports’ Jonathan Wasserman (as of April 3): No. 25 to the Milwaukee BucksThe Athletic’s Sam Vecenie (as of Feb. 20):No. 30 to the Boston Celtics

 

The cautionary tale of the big who dominates in college is as old as NBA punditry itself. There’s Ohio State’s Greg Oden, whose career was derailed by injuries; Michael Olowokandi, who helped to put the University of the Pacific on the map but also dealt with injuries; and, more recently, Arizona’s Deandre Ayton (of whom it isn’t fair to call a “bust” in the traditional sense, but who also has not lived up to his potential at Arizona).

 

 

While in a perfect world Edey would be evaluated in a vacuum, it’s hard to miss out on the fact that centers who don’t display otherworldly athleticism — a la Joel Embiid — or have an inimitable suite of tools — a la Nikola Jokic — can find it hard to stand out in the NBA. So, while Edey’s production in college will be tantalizing to NBA teams, there will be red flags that may push him further down teams’ boards.

 

Zach Edey NBA scouting report

 

 

Despite all of the talk about Edey’s size, however, he has been trending up. Even with the cautionary tale of the college big man hanging over him, the discourse around Edey has gotten more and more robust as he has continued to dominate. As Bleacher Report’s Wasserman wrote, via NBA.com:

 

 

Wasserman did go on to note that fit will ultimately matter for Edey, who is surrounded by cutters and shooters at Purdue. He’ll likely need something similar at the next level.

 

 

Edey somewhat shocked the world by returning for the 2023-24 season after Purdue’s early exit from last year’s NCAA Tournament. He has done nothing to hurt his stock since, averaging career highs in points, assists and blocks while missing his career-best for rebounds by 0.7 per game.

 

He has proven to be unguardable in each of the past two seasons as a fixture of the Purdue rotation. That has continued in March Madness, where in five NCAA Tournament games he is averaging 28 points on 15.6 shots per game (65.4% from the field), 15.4 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks.

 

 

Gideon Canice

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