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NBA legend talks about Zach Edey’s NBA future

Kenny Smith had a lot to say about Zach Edey and his chances in the NBA.



Zach Edey NBA Draft Combine
© David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Edey, standing at an impressive 7’4″ and weighing 300 pounds, has become a towering figure in college basketball, dominating the court with his remarkable performances for Purdue. Averaging 24.5 points and 12 rebounds per game, Edey appears to be on track for another National Player of the Year award.

Despite his accolades, Edey faces a unique challenge as he prepares to transition to the professional level. Earlier this year, he announced his decision to forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the NBA Draft. However, Edey’s style of play, characterized by his imposing size and dominance in the paint, raises questions about his fit in the modern NBA, where versatility and outside shooting are highly valued.

Zach Edey’s draft outlook

Critics point to Edey’s lack of agility and perimeter game as potential drawbacks that could limit his appeal to NBA teams. In a league increasingly driven by pace, spacing, and three-point shooting, traditional big men like Edey face scrutiny regarding their ability to adapt to the evolving demands of the game. Despite his remarkable college statistics, some scouts remain skeptical about Edey’s potential impact at the next level.

Former NBA champion Kenny Smith, however, sees potential in Zach Edey’s game and believes he has a place in the NBA. Smith envisions a role for Edey as a situational player, suggesting that he could contribute valuable minutes in short bursts during games. “You want to throw him six minutes in the first half and then six minutes in the 2nd half,” Smith commented, “and he wouldn’t do it at a regular level, he’ll do it at a high level.”

Smith’s perspective highlights the possibility of Edey carving out a niche for himself in the NBA, leveraging his unique skill set to make an impact despite the changing landscape of the league. Even though he is the most dominant player in college basketball at the moment, Edey’s draft projections paint a different picture. Regarded as a second-round pick, with the possibility of sneaking into the late first round at best, Edey faces an uphill battle to prove his worth to NBA teams.

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The Dunk Central staff has over 25 years of collective experience writing and covering the NBA. Featured in Bleacher Report, Yahoo, and Yardbarker, our writers offer expert analysis and captivating storytelling.