2023 NBA Draft: Purdue’s Zach Edey testing waters, but national player of the year leaves door open to return



Purdue star Zach Edey announced Tuesday that he is entering the NBA Draft but maintaining his collegiate eligibility after winning national player of the year honors during a standout junior season. The 7-foot-4 center led the Boilermakers to a 29-6 record and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, where they were upset in the first round by No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson.

“My basketball journey has been unorthodox to say the least, but I wouldn’t change a thing about it,” Edey wrote on Twitter. “From ranked No. 437 in my class to National Player of the Year, I can’t put into words what Purdue University, my teammates, my coaches and our fans mean to me. Though we fell short of our ultimate goal this season, I loved every second of it.”

Edey averaged 22.3 points, 12.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game while logging a team-high 31.7 minutes for Purdue. He ranked first in the Big Ten in points and rebounds per game and tied for second in blocks per game while leading the Boilermakers to the league’s regular season and tournament titles.

The NCAA’s deadline for college players testing the NBA Draft waters to withdraw and still be eligible return to play next season is May 31, meaning Purdue could remain in limbo for several weeks as Edey goes through pre-draft workouts and receives feedback from NBA franchises. Though dominant at the college level, it’s unclear how Edey’s game would translate at the next level from a defensive standpoint in NBA systems that often require bigs to defend smaller players on the perimeter.

In 99 career games at Purdue, Edey has also never attempted a 3-point shot, which is a skill he would likely need to develop in order to be an effective long-term NBA player. Should he return to Purdue, he would have two seasons of eligibility remaining since the 2020-21 campaign did not count against him amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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