July 18, 2024

Grizzlies Land Edey At 9th Pick In NBA Draft

Grizzlies Land Edey At 9th Pick In NBA Draft

Every NBA team has needs as they enter the Draft. In the case of the Memphis Grizzlies there was a BIG need. That’s just what they needed was a big man to fill down low. With the 9th pick in Wednesday nights first round they accomplished this by drafting Purdue big man Zach Edey. We will delve into five ways Edey can immediately impact the Grizzlies and more. 

Five Ways Edey Impacts The Grizzlies

Size In Block

 No one can deny Edey has the size. Standing at 7’4 the former Boilermaker demands respect in the paint and low block. His standing reach of 9’7 ties Rudy Gobert for tallest in the league and second longest wingspan to only Victor Wimbenyama. Memphis is hoping to utilize this size to open the floor and increase their shooting from inside the arc. The Grizzlies ranked second worst in this category in 2023. 

Durability In Up Tempo Offense

We know Memphis gets out in tempo on offense. A question is can Edey also run the floor with his size. The simple answer is yes. To further this point, during the Boilermakers National Championship game run, Edey averaged 35.7 minutes per game while averaging 29.5 points, 14 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game. This will be key for him to integrate in the offense that has talent all around. 

Scorer In Paint 

 We just mentioned how Edey scored in the NCAA Tournament but this was across his career. The big man averaged 25.2 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game last season. Edey led the nation, in 2023, with 14.3 points per game in the low block. This is where the big boys play and where Edey can reign supreme. In the National Championship we would see Edey score 37 points along with 10 rebounds to join Braden Smith as the only players in double digits. 

Memphis will need Edey as they would trade away Steven Adams following his injury last season. 

Holes In Roster

As we mentioned, Edey will fill a big hole on the roster. More than that, Edey will fill a role in the offense that he fits perfectly with. The pick-and-roll is Grizzlies guard, Ja Morant‘s bread and butter on offense. Edey is the best screener in the draft and Memphis just gave their star guard a 7’4 target to lob it to. We joke by saying Edey will fill a massive hole on the roster but in all reality its the truth. Edey will be used in many ways in this offense and its going to be fun to watch. 

Proven Winner 

In the many years of college basketball not many have won awards multiple times. Even more few to have won two awards. Edey has done just that as he is a back-to-back Naismith Trophy winner.  The only players to win the Naismith consecutively was Ralph Sampson, in 1981-3, and Bill Walton in 1972-74. With this, Edey is also a two time AP Player of The Year winner. He joins Jerry Lucas, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Walton, Sampson, and David Thompson. Edey also joins Walton, Abdul-Jabbar, Lucas, and Thompson as two time winners as Sampson was the only three time winner in the history of the award dating back to1960-61.  Edey became the second-highest pick for a Boilermaker in the last 30 years since Glenn Robinson was taken No. 1 in 1994, surpassed only by Jaden Ivey‘s selection as the fifth pick overall by the Detroit Pistons in the 2022 Draft.

In closing, many fans were stunned when they heard Zach Edey was their 1st round pick but the pick makes sense in multiple ways. For a team that went 27-55 last season they need pieces who can hopefully stay healthy. If so, the Grizzlies could easily be back to the 2022-3 records of 51-31 again along with a deep playoff run. They made a BIG step forward with their #9 pick. 

Here is what Edey had to say after being drafted. 

“This is a dream come true,” 

 “Memphis has such a great core and I am really excited to get down there and work. I want to thank the Grizzlies organization for the opportunity and am ready to take the next step in my journey. Go Grizz!”

Let Edey Eat!

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