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“The Thunder Should Draft Zach Edey”: NBA Veteran Analyst Wants Chet Holmgren To Be Backed Up By The Purdue Star

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

"The Thunder Should Draft Zach Edey": NBA Veteran Analyst Wants Chet Holmgren To Be Backed Up By The Purdue Star

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s exceptional campaign ended in gut-wrenching fashion as they blew a 16-point halftime lead and lost 116-115 in Game 6 of their Western Conference semifinal series against the Dallas Mavericks. Being a top seed in the regular season, the Thunder could not contain the #5 seed. This has raised several questions and the franchise would look to answer those in the 2024 NBA Draft.

They own the 12th pick in the draft and NBA Insider Kevin O’Connor believes they should use it to land Purdue center Zach Edey.

Edey would serve as Chet Holmgren’s backup and allow Jaylin Williams to play primarily at his preferred position, at power forward. The Purdue star would also address OKC’s rebounding issues. O’Connor said,

“The Thunder should draft Zach Edey.

Addresses their need for size. Adds a totally different interior ingredient to their offense.”

The Thunder were outrebounded 35-30 on the offensive end in the second round and 14-5 in Games 5 and 6. Edey was an exceptional rebounder in college, averaging 12.2 per game, including 4.6 on offense.

The only issue with drafting the center is his three-point shooting. He attempted only two shots from beyond the arc in four years at Purdue, sinking one. However, as O’Connor pointed out, “if there’s anyone who can turn his touch into reliable 3-point shooting it’s Chip Engelland.,” Thunder assistant coach.

He joined the Thunder in 2022 and in his first season as a coach, he helped improve their three-point shooting percentage from 32.3 to 35.6 and this year, they shot a league-best 38.9% from beyond the arc. Another issue to solve with the Purdue alum will be that 7ft 4″ is a traditional big and therefore, slow on the court.

On the other hand, with Chet Holmgren, who is a 37% 3-point shooter, he will have help. The 22-year-old is projected to be picked in the first round. However, allegedly, he can go as high as the #9 pick, held by the Memphis Grizzlies. If the youngster lands in OKC, it seems to be the perfect move for both parties.

Can the Thunder land Zach Edey?

The 2024 NBA draft class is perceived to be among the weakest and teams could pick a lowly touted prospect like the Purdue center earlier than projected. OKC’s prospects of drafting the 22-year-old will have to survive 11 picks, but they can easily jump higher and pick if they wish.

Credits: USA TODAY Sports

The Thunder have eight future first-round picks that they can trade to move up the draft board to ensure they land Edey this year. Former GM Sam Presti’s exceptional job at hoarding draft picks when the team traded key players like Paul George and Russell Westbrook will now help the franchise outbid any team in pursuit of any player in the league or the draft.

When the disappointment of losing to the Mavericks washes away, the team will remember that they are better positioned than any team in the NBA to become a dynasty. Armed with a young team that finished first in the loaded West and more draft picks than they could’ve wished for, the Thunder will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come, unless they self-implode, which, as history has showcased, could easily transpire.

Post Edited By:Hitesh Nigam

About the author

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar


Jay Lokegaonkar is a basketball journalist who has been following the sports as a fan 2005. He has worked in a slew of roles covering the NBA, including writer, editor, content manager, social media manager, and head of content since 2018. However, his primary passion is writing about the NBA. Especially throwback stories about the league's iconic players and franchises. Revisiting incredible tales and bringing scarcely believable stories to readers are one his main interests as a writer.

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