We are now less than month away from the 2023 NBA Draft, which will be another important one for the Detroit Pistons.
They are fresh off a 17-win season, worst in the NBA, so it was disappointing to drop to 5th, but Detroit still has to find the best possible player available when they make their choice.
The Detroit Pistons also have the 31st pick in the NBA Draft, which could prove to be a valuable one, as this is a draft that is deep with similar talent and they might be able to find a steal.
We’ve been looking at possibilities for the Pistons with the 31st pick, and most of the players we’ve profiled have been forwards, as the wing is Detroit’s biggest position of need.
But it’s always possible that they will go in a different direction. There have been a ton of jokes about Troy Weaver’s love of centers, as Detroit already had Jalen Duren, Marvin Bagley III and Isaiah Stewart before trading for James Wiseman next year.
So it would be unlikely that the Pistons would draft another big man, right Troy? RIGHT?!?
Detroit Pistons draft: Zach Edey
One center that could get a look from the Pistons in the second round is Naismith Award winner Zach Edey from Purdue.
Edey is a 7-foot-4, 290lbs giant who is fresh off averaging 22 points, 12.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.1 blocks per game for the Boilermakers on his way to winning Player of the Year.
He moves surprisingly well for a person that big, but his game would have been best suited for the 1990’s, when traditional centers ruled with back-to-the-basket post play. Edey shoots 60 percent from the field, but that’s because most of his shots are dunks and put backs. He doesn’t have a jumper and doesn’t even attempt 3-point shots, so he doesn’t fit in with the modern, more versatile NBA center.
But that doesn’t mean he can’t have a career as a bench player who comes in and changes the game with his rim protection and by getting some easy buckets down low. He does have really nice touch around the hoop and shoots free throws at 73 percent, so there is hope his offensive game could evolve a bit more. He’s also a pretty good passer out of double teams, and might be even better with NBA-level scorers around him.
He’s already a good lob catcher and shot blocker, as you can see in these highlights:
Edey was a teammate of Jaden Ivey at Purdue, so there is some familiarity there as well.
The big question around Edey is if he’ll just be too slow to cover anyone in the NBA, where centers are increasingly being asked to defend on the perimeter.
He can definitely affect shots around the rim, but would likely get burned every time he had to step away from it, which limits how much he can play in the NBA.
He’s a skilled big man, and his size will definitely draw attention, but there is a reason he is picked to go in the second round (if at all) after winning Player of the Year, similar to Luka Garza a couple of seasons ago.
The Detroit Pistons don’t need another center, but Edey’s shot-blocking is intriguing. Enough to use the 31st pick on him? No, probably not, but if he goes undrafted, he’d be an interesting G-League signing or possibility for a two-way contract.
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