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Zach Edey is testing his way into the NBA Draft Lottery


Coming into the NBA Draft Combine, everyone knew that Zach Edey was one of the best players in college basketball. Concerns abounded that his game wouldn’t necessarily translate well to the NBA. Those doubts are still present, but Edey did about as much as he could to dispel them by testing out great in all of his measurables. 

Edey’s defensive mobility and lack of outside shooting are the two biggest strikes against him. He’s still slow, but not quite to the extent that we thought. And his shooting was one of the nice surprises of the first day of the combine.

Here’s why that had Edey as one of the big risers in his class. 

MORE: Why Zach Edey is projected as a first-round pick

We knew that Edey was going to be huge. His official measurements didn’t disappoint. 

Edey will be among the tallest players in the league. Victor Wembanyama and Boban Marjanovic are the only other active players listed at 7-4.

Edey also tested a little better than expected in his 3.34-second three-quarter sprint time, beating out fellow big man prospect Donovan Clingan. That should quell some of the concerns about Edey getting run off the court in transition.

MORE: Zach Edey is the most polarizing prospect in the draft

Edey has always been thought of as a very limited, old-school offensive player. His time at Purdue was spent almost exclusively in the post. He attempted exactly two 3-pointers throughout his entire four years in college. 

Maybe there’s more to his game than we thought. Edey killed the 3-point shooting drills, hitting 14-of-25 from deep. 

Edey’s shot release certainly isn’t quick, but it still is incredibly valuable if he can hit the wide-open ones. He also crushed the movement shooting drills, hitting 18-of-30 pull-ups. He has a lot more potential than draft evaluators originally thought. 

Our expert Kyle Irving had him at No. 21 in his most recent mock draft
. After his combine performance, that may be too low. 

Edey is now being discussed as a potential lottery pick. He’s even been considered as a top-10 selection by plenty of NBA executives, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony

If the teams at the end of the lottery truly are giving Edey consideration, then that would put him into consideration with the Jazz, Bulls, Thunder, Kings and Trail Blazers. 

Some of those teams would be a strange fit for him. The Jazz and Blazers already have similar big men in Walker Kessler and Deandre Ayton, respectively.

The Bulls at No. 11 could be interesting. Nikola Vucevic is quickly declining and backup big man Andre Drummond is a free agent. That would make some sense. The Thunder at No. 12 need size and rebounding. The Kings at No. 13 could use a different look from Domantas Sabonis off the bench. 

Edey was largely thought of as a second-round flier before this season started. It’s been quite an ascent for him in the land of the mock drafts. It only takes one team to talk themselves into him, and he’s putting together a stronger resume that is becoming hard to discount. 

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