The Grizzlies make a big bet

The NBA draft was held last week over two days on June 26-27. I didn’t pay too much attention after Boston won the Finals, mainly because the Grizzlies didn’t even make the playoffs so the draft crept up on me this year. I randomly checked out Grizzlies news to see what they were doing in free agency only to find out they’d just made their first round pick–Purdue star Zach Edey. I knew nothing about the guy so I spent the next hour or so reading up on him and watching highlights from his college career. I chuckled when I saw that a Krysten Peek called this one of the worst picks in draft history.” Surely this was no Hasheem Thabeet, right? Right?

From what I’ve seen so far Edey looks very promising, especially if you factor in his dominant game against Clingan who was drafted 2 picks higher and the fact that he doesn’t have an injury history which is a big deal for someone his size. Usually a rule of thumb in any draft is to pick the best player available instead of trying to address a specific need. With this pick the Grizzlies did both. Edey fills the Steven Adams-shaped hole on the roster better than any other prospect and he should fit right in from day 1 by setting screens for Ja, posting up smaller players and grabbing every single rebound.

While it’s a controversial pick, I’m on board with making a bit on a gifted center with terrific upside instead of playing it safe with a wing that wouldn’t have the same impact. In fact, the Grizzlies drafted two of the best shooters in this class in the second round which justifies taking Edey even more with their first round pick.

I can’t wait for the season to start as I’ll be closely watching Edey and Clingan during their rookie years to see which team got it right with their big man selection. In the meantime we’ve got the Summer League to look forward to which is not too far away.