Thunder projected to land ill-fitting, 7-foot-4 center this summer

Oklahoma City Thunder v Minnesota Timberwolves
Oklahoma City Thunder v Minnesota Timberwolves / David Berding/GettyImages

Heading into the offseason, it's more than evident that the OKC Thunder must look to address their lacking size and physicality within their frontcourt rotation.

Even before the postseason began, these factors were viewed as severe weaknesses for Oklahoma City, and, ultimately, they proved to aid in their demise against the bigger and stronger Dallas Mavericks in round two.

This summer, Sam Presti and company will be hell-bent on adding on bigger bodies to their talent pool in an effort to help beef up their front line and, in a recent mock draft by The Ringer, writer Kevin O'Connor has the franchise nabbing towering center Zach Edey with the 12 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft to address this need.

Thunder land Zach Edey with No. 12 pick in latest 2024 NBA Mock Draft

Considering his 7-foot-4, 300-pound frame, O'Connor believes the Purdue senior to be a clear upgrade in the size department for OKC, while arguing his rebounding and rim-protecting skills could be a great luxury for the team, especially considering they ranked 27 in the former category.

"Edey addresses Oklahoma City’s need for size and adds a totally different interior ingredient to their offense with his interior scoring, offensive rebounding, and screening. And if there’s anyone who can turn Edey's touch around the basket into reliable 3-point shooting, it’s assistant coach Chip Engelland."

Kevin O'Connor

Edey finds himself coming off his fourth and final season at the collegiate level where he posted impressive per-game averages of 25.2 points, 12.2 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks on 62.3 percent shooting from the field en route to his second straight National College Player of the Year award.

Considering his intangibles, it goes without saying that, on paper, his addition to this Thunder rotation would address two of their most glaring weaknesses, as O'Connor noted.

However, the game of basketball isn't played on paper but, rather, on the hardwood, and it is there where one realizes that while Oklahoma City certainly needs more size, they should also be looking for a player who fills this need while also possessing the ability to space the floor or, at the very least, extend beyond the paint.

Zach Edey isn't someone who can do these things, as his bread-and-butter is his interior play.

Bringing him aboard would severely clog driving lanes that guys like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Williams, and Chet Holmgren excelled at attacking in 2023-24.

Coach Mark Daigneault's scheme has proven to work at its best when running a five-out rotation, and, while Edey may be several things, he's not someone who would benefit from such a style of play.

On top of this, he's not all that quick of a player, which would hinder the upside that this fast-paced Thunder offense likes to run at when on the floor.

Does OKC need bigger options alongside Holmgren down low and to address their rebounding woes? Yes.

However, a lot more needs to go into the concept of bolstering these attributes outside of solely just physique. Selecting Edey at 12 would be a severe oversight on Presti's part.