Purdue star Zach Edey declares for NBA draft, will maintain college eligibility
Purdue center Zach Edey will declare for the NBA draft, but his college career may not be over just yet.
Edey, the national player of the year, announced Tuesday that he will go through the draft process — working out for and interviewing with NBA teams — while maintaining his college eligibility. That leaves the door open for the 7-foot-4 Edey to potentially return to play for the Boilermakers next season if he chooses.
The deadline for college players to put their name into the draft is April 23. From there, they have until May 31 to declare from the draft and maintain collegiate eligibility.
Zach Edey was dominant at Purdue
The decision from Edey is no surprise. As he went through the awards circuit at the Final Four in Houston earlier this month, he told reporters that he intended to go through the draft process and receive feedback from NBA evaluators.
Edey, a native of Toronto, was an unheralded recruit who primarily played hockey and baseball before devoting more attention to basketball early in his high school career. He eventually ended up at IMG Academy in Florida, where he caught the eye of Purdue coach Matt Painter.
Since Edey arrived on Purdue’s campus, he has improved at a rapid rate, culminating in several national player of the year honors as a junior. At 7-foot-4 and 305 pounds, Edey was completely dominant for the Boilermakers this past season. He averaged 22.3 points, 12.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks while playing 31.7 minutes per game for the Boilermakers.
It was a significant leap forward in production for Edey after he shared frontcourt duties with Trevion Williams in 2022. That season, Edey averaged only 19 minutes per game but was still able to average 14.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. As a freshman, Edey put up 8.7 pounds and 4.4 rebounds per game.
Where does Zach Edey fit in the NBA?
Despite his on-floor dominance, Edey is no surefire first-round pick. The NBA has shied away from traditional big men, and it’s fair to question how Edey would fit at the next level where spacing, outside shooting and defensive versatility are valued far more than post play.
Edey impressed this season with his conditioning, excellent hands and touch around the basket. He’s improved as a decision-maker and passer and is not a liability at the free-throw line as he owns a career percentage of 70.2 on more than 500 attempts. Still, concerns about his mobility on defense could ultimately hinder his ceiling as an NBA prospect.
If he does land in the NBA, Edey would tie Boban Marjanovic as the tallest player in the league at 7-foot-4.
If he stays at Purdue, it would obviously be a massive development for the program. The Boilermakers won the Big Ten and were a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament but were shocked in the first round by No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson.
If Edey returns, nearly every contributor from last year’s team will be back in the fold. Only Brandon Newman, a part-time starter at guard, has decided to transfer. The program’s lone transfer addition thus far is Lance Jones, a 6-foot-1 guard who averaged just under 14 points per game at Southern Illinois.
Source: Yahoo Sports