Purdue’s Zach Edey officially declares for 2024 NBA Draft

NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - National Championship - Purdue v Connecticut
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - National Championship - Purdue v Connecticut

Zach Edey, the two-time NCAA player of the year at Purdue, has done what was expected and officially put his name in for the 2024 NBA Draft. Edey confirmed this to Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

This surprises nobody, even his coach at Purdue, Matt Painter, said in February this would be Edey's final year in college. This is a good year for Edey to come out, in what is considered a down draft he is projected as a potential lottery pick (and is a lock first round pick).

Also officially decarling for the draft is French wing Zaccharie Risacher, who is projected by some to be the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.

Edey is recognizable to any college hoops fan, a 7'4" old-school big man who dominated the paint and led Purdue to the NCAA championship game, where he scored 37 points (but that was not enough to beat UConn). Edey averaged 25.2 points,12.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game this season.

Despite the gaudy numbers, there are questions about how well his game translates to the NBA level. While Edey showed improved footwork and mobility this season, his lack of lateral quickness is going to be a real issue at the next level — when he gets pulled out into space and dragged into pick-and-rolls, can he stay in front of a quick guard? He's going to have to play drop defense in the NBA — he did that a fair amount at Purdue — which can work well with the right other players but has weaknesses. Edey also can't space the floor on offense, he sets fantastic picks but is a pure rim-runner. The NBA has been moving away from old-school bigs like Edey for years. Scouts NBC Sports have spoken with say Edey has a role in the NBA, but it's not going to be near the role he had in college, he will be more of a big off the bench and have to prove he can be more than that.

Still, Edey has size and touch that cannot be taught and will be a first-round draft pick.

Zaccharie Risacher will be selected at or near the very top of the first round. He also was always expected to enter the draft but now it is official and Jonathan Givony of ESPN broke the news.

Risacher is a 6'8" wing who checks most of the boxes NBA teams are looking for in a wing: Good size, a versatile defender who, playing for Bourg in the top French league, has shown the ability to guard 1-4, and he shot 39% from 3 this season (and was well above 40% in the middle of March). He's fluid and, moves well on and off the ball, is strong in transition, but he's not what one typically expects as a high draft pick in that he's not a top-flight shot-creator for himself or others. However, teams drafting near the top of the board who already have that kind of creator — Detroit with Cade Cunningham, Charlotte with LaMelo Ball, Portland with Anfernee Simons and Scoot Henderson — could see Risacher as a fit.