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Zach Edey reportedly to leave Purdue after this season, jump into NBA Draft

Purdue v Wisconsin

MADISON, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 04: Zach Edey #15 of the Purdue Boilermakers walks onto the court to work out before the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Kohl Center on February 04, 2024 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

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A year ago, Zach Edey — the AP Player of the Year and Wooden Award winner — entered the NBA Draft process, looked at his prospects and returned to Purdue. This season the 7'4" center averages 23.7 points a game on 62.7% shooting plus grabbing 11.8 rebounds a night. He has Purdue as the second-ranked team in the nation, and he is headed to a second round of player of the year awards.

This time, he is coming out of college and entering the NBA Draft, something Purdue coach Matt Painter told Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.

Edey is projected as a first-round pick this year in what is generally considered a down draft class. Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo at ESPN have him going 13th in their latest mock draft, however talking with sources from other teams, some have him a little lower on their boards (although still going in the first round). Edey could stay in college, he has one more year of eligibility due to the COVID pandemic, but that apparently is not what his coach expects.

Edey is projected to be a solid but old-school rotational center at the NBA level — he’s a big body who has improved his mobility and footwork from a season ago but does not space the floor and cannot defend in space if switched on a pick-and-roll. One person NBC Sports asked about Edey said, “Think of a Plumlee” to describe his NBA fit. That can be a long, well-paying, and fruitful NBA career, but some teams might be willing to roll the dice on a less proven player with a higher upside come draft time. Still, teams generally like Edey.

Whatever teams think, it’s time, and Edey appears ready to leave Purdue and take on his next challenge in the NBA.

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