NBA Draft: Why Zach Edey would be a horrible fit for OKC Thunder

The OKC Thunder cannot let their need for more frontcourt help blind them from the fact that Purdue center Zach Edey would be a horrendous fit for this team.
Purdue v Connecticut
Purdue v Connecticut / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

With a clear need for a trusty backup center option, Purdue standout Zach Edey has been a popular NBA Mock Draft selection for the Oklahoma City Thunder at 12 overall.

However, in actuality, the big man is an extremely poor fit for this team and should be off of Sam Presti’s radar for a bevy of reasons. 

Zach Edey would be a horrible fit with the OKC Thunder

The Thunder value players that are not constrained to a limited skill set. They seek complete players that shoot, dribble, pass, rebound, and defend numerous roles.

In a nut shell, versatility is the name of the game for Presti's ball club, and Edey fails to etch himself into this type of category. 

63.9% of his possessions last year were post-ups during the 2023-24 campaign and he only attempted seven jump-shots all year, per Synergy Sports. Edey’s anti-modern shot diet goes against Oklahoma City’s wishes.

They want and work best with a center that can orchestrate dribble handoffs, knock down three-pointers on pick-and-pops, and run in transition. A back-to-the-basket center only clogs driving lanes for guys like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams. 

To make matters worse, Edey’s non-existent shooting range also allows opponents to constantly play drop coverage against high ball screens. The Thunder have achieved ample offensive success when attacking downhill and penetrating the paint, so Edey only makes this goal more difficult. 

On the opposite side of the ball, he doesn’t have the agility to defend on the perimeter or switch, which lets opponents exploit mismatches.

Oklahoma City wants to field a faceless defense where all five guys can defend every role. For example: It’s like Presti is trying to recreate the Matrix and have five Agent Smiths on the court at all times.

Opponents would not find an advantage because there is no advantage to be found. 

Yes, he helps on the glass due to his 7-foot-4 frame, but the Thunder can find a different center option that fits into their in-game philosophy and also crashes the boards. Drafting Edey for his rebounding only brings a host of new but deadlier issues that OKC simply cannot afford.

In time, he may carve out a decent role in the NBA, but it should not be with the OKC Thunder.

Fit is crucial for non-star talents at the next level, as the Josh Giddey situation perfectly depicted, and Edey does not fit in the slightest.