3: Zach Edey
Among the projected second-round players, there is perhaps no prospect more polarizing than Zach Edey. The 7-foot-4 sophomore center had a career year for Purdue this season, averaging 22.3 points and 12.9 rebounds per game on his way to winning the 2023 National Player of the Year. However, the top-seeded Boilermakers were upset by 16-seed Farleigh Dickinson in the first round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament, where the Knights game-planned around Purdue's giant.
Let's start with some positives about Edey; he uses his size and strength well to bully defenders in the paint for easy points, and he has excellent touch around the rim, with a 63.8% True Shooting Percentage. Edey also averaged 5.5 offensive rebounds per game, leading to several second-chance points. Offensively, that's about where the positives end. Edey has a game tailor-made for college basketball, but those skills are less valuable in the modern NBA. While there are non-shooting bigs that have carved out successful stints in the NBA (Jakob Poeltl!), Edey's flaws extend to the other end of the court.
Although he recorded 2.1 blocks per game, Edey is slow-footed defensively, even in the paint, and his heavy frame makes it hard for him to run up and down the court from offense to defense. Edey is a serviceable rim protector, but unless he improves his mobility and conditioning to adjust to the pace of the NBA, Edey will probably become another example of one of the many interior bigs who had success in college but struggled at the next level. The Spurs have experience with colossal centers (Hey, Boban), but I doubt Edey will be the next one.