Zach Edey is heading into the 2024 NBA Draft and is reaching the point of being a near consensus to come off the board in the first round. It’s a stark testimony to Edey’s overall development at Purdue into an NBA-caliber big man.

Just how high can Edey go in the draft? Obviously, that depends on many factors in the draft, but ESPN’s Jonathan Givony’s most recent mock draft bears some monitoring.

Givony is currently projecting Edey to go to the Los Angeles Lakers with the No. 17 overall pick. However, Givony includes it’s not a foregone conclusion the Lakers utilize their pick with the team likely exploring opportunities to acquire veterans to play alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis and new head coach JJ Redick.

The odds of Edey even being available at No. 17 overall are interesting. DraftKings has set Edey’s draft position at 15.5, and the under 15.5 is a slight favorite at -130. The over 15.5 is set at +100.

As for the specific player to be drafted with the 17th overall pick, DraftKings has Tristan da Silva as the favorite at +650. Meanwhile, Edey is +700, and fans can take advantage of Tradition’s DraftKings Ohio bonus code.

Analyzing the fit

In Givony’s analysis, he points to Edey being a plug-and-play center who could immediately step in and contribute as a rookie. He also makes the case that Anthony Davis is at his best when playing alongside another big man.

From a physical standpoint, Givony believes Edey’s offensive rebounding (an area where the Lakers were the worst in the NBA) and elite screener would give Los Angeles an edge.

A couple of other areas also point to Edey’s fit within the Lakers. While Los Angeles did not attempt a ton of 3-pointers last season, the Lakers were 8th in the league in 3-point shooting percentage at 37.7% overall.

That shooting would allow Edey some space to operate inside with Davis also easing the offensive pressure on Purdue’s star.

In terms of free-throw shooting, the Lakers were 2nd in the NBA last season while averaging just over 24 free-throw attempts per game. Edey is adept at getting to the line, and that would continue to serve him well playing within the Lakers’ system.

While a lot of attention has been placed on the Lakers and the possibility of teaming LeBron and Bronny James in the draft, Edey could be the perfect prospect to join the franchise in the midst of a crucial coaching change.