Potential Landing Spots for Zach Edey In The NBA Draft

The 7-4 Zach Edey is a polarizing prospect. He was the most dominant player in college basketball this past season and one of the most decorated college basketball players of all time. But how his game projects to the NBA level is a bit murky and his projected draft range goes from late lottery to late first round. I’m a believer in his game and think he has a chance to not only be a starting NBA center but a really good one at that. If I was calling shots for a NBA team I wouldn’t let him slip past the mid first round.

With that draft range in mind, let’s take a look at some potential landing spots for the massive Canadian.

A Chicago Bull In A China Shop

The Chicago Bulls own the 11th pick in the draft, which would be around the top of Edey’s projected draft range. The Bulls could be looking at a full rebuild, having already traded away Alex Caruso and possibly looking to trade Demar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic and/or Zach LaVine. Adding a colossal presence in the paint could be a nice start. They acquired Josh Giddy in the Curoso trade, a player who excels at feeding the post and they have Coby White, a bona fide scorer who can draw a lot of defensive attention. Other than that the Bulls are lacking in longterm prospects/players. Edey isn’t the cleanest fit here but still would be an intriguing addition, especially if they trade Vucevic.

Thunder And Lightening

The OKC Thunder hold the 12th pick in the draft, thanks to Sam Presti’s penchant for acquiring draft picks (this one from the Rockets) and would be a really interesting landing spot for Edey. He’d come in and play a defined role, most likely off the bench, giving the team a completely different dimension up front when spelling the talented but spindly Chet Holmgren. On the Thunder Edey would benefit from the passing and ball movement of talented guards SGA and JDub and might even play in big lineups next to Chet. This would be an odd pick for the Thunder but with so much draft capital and a strong roster already in place they can afford to get weird here and see if Edey could be a missing piece to a championship puzzle.

A King Among Kings

The Sacramento Kings are on the verge of becoming a playoff contender and will be looking to add a player with the 13th pick who can impact the team immediately. Edey would be an interesting pairing with Domantas Sabonis and could be a guy who gives valuable minutes matching up against some of the bigger Western Conference teams such as the Timberwolves. Alex Len is set for free agency and there’s no center depth beyond Sabonis.

The Big Blazer

With the 14th pick in the draft the Portland Trailblazers could head in a new direction at center. DeAndre Ayton has been solid but might not be the answer. He’s got two years left on his deal and could be trade bait, especially if the team can add a talented big man in the draft. The Blazers also own the 7th pick and are one of the teams rumored to be interested in trading up for Donovan Clingan and if that happens, obviously the selection of Edey at no.14 would no longer make sense.

UPDATE: The Blazers are rumored to be very high on Edey, with one report suggesting they could even consider him at no.7.

Turn Up The Heat

The Miami Heat are another team looking to make a playoff push next season and adding a difference maker in the post would make a lot of sense. He might not be a typical Heat draft pick but then again, there’s nothing typical about Zach Edey. With the 15 pick in the draft they could do a lot worse than adding a player who changes the dynamic of the game when he’s on the court. As it stands now Thomas Bryant is the only serviceable back up to Bam Adebayo so more depth is needed.

300 Pounds Of Pure Magic

The Orlando Magic are building something really nice and have hit on recent draft picks including Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero but could use help up front. Wendell Carter is their only real option at center for next year and so they’ll look to add another big man in the draft or in free agency.

Dinosaurs Are Not Extinct

The Raptors hold the 19th pick and could bring Zach Edey back home to Toronto. Edey was recently added to the Canadian Olympic team for this Summer and having him also representing the Toronto Raptors there would be pretty cool. As recently as five years ago the big, plodding center was considered a dinosaur in the NBA but the small-ball era has given way to a more balanced game and the importance of the big man is returning from near extinction.

Pelicans… I’ve Got Nothing Witty To Write Here

The Pelicans hold the 21st pick and this seems like it could be the floor for Zach Edey on draft night. The team has as a plethora of guards and wings and could use the size of Zach Edey to pair upfront with the dynamic Zion Williamson. Jonas Valanciunas just played the last year of his deal and could be gone, and Edey could step right in and fill those minutes.

More Bang For The Bucks

If Edey does fall this far the Milwaukee Bucks should run to the podium to select him. Brook Lopez isn’t getting any younger (only Mohamed Dabone is) and the team lacks depth at the center position. Edey would make for an interesting pairing with Giannis and his screen setting would help free up space for Damian Lillard. The Bucks are looking to get back to title contention next year and will try to find a player at no.23 who can have an immediate impact.

Wherever he lands Edey will be a phenomenon, a fan favorite and one of the most fascinating draft picks to watch in his adjustment to the NBA. He has some limitations in terms of speed/agility but in the right situation I think he’ll flourish.

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