Purdue star center Zach Edey tested the draft waters this past spring. However, he decided to return to school for his senior year after he was unable to convince an NBA team to give him a two-way contract with the opportunity for playing time, writes Dana O’Neil of The Athletic.
That doesn’t mean teams weren’t interested in the NCAA’s reigning National Player of the Year, but none were willing to commit to him weeks in advance of the draft — the withdrawal deadline was 11:59 pm ET on May 31, while the 2023 NBA draft didn’t take place until June 22. Edey was ranked No. 47 on ESPN’s big board at the time, so he may have been a second-round pick.
Edey tells O’Neil that with name, image and license in play, he was in no rush to make it to the NBA for financial reasons, since he’ll be compensated about the same as he would’ve been had he secured a two-way deal.
“If this was before NIL, I probably would have left,” Edey said. “That’s fair to say. But now I’m allowed to be rewarded for the season I had last year, for the season my team had last year. This is how NIL was meant to be used, I think. Not the way some schools are using it.”
Instead, the 7’4″ Canadian ultimately returned to the Boilermakers after his mother asked him what he really wanted to do.
“I kept thinking, I don’t want to look back on this and say, ‘Damn. I wish I had gone back,'” Edey said, per O’Neil. “I have the rest of my life to work. The NBA is a business. Purdue is a blessing.”
Here’s more from around the basketball world:
- Top high school prospect Cooper Flagg has reclassified from the 2025 class to 2024, which means he’ll be eligible for the 2025 NBA draft, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Twitter link). The 16-year-old phenom is a “strong candidate” to be selected first overall in 2025, says Givony.
- The schedule for the NBA’s new in-season tournament will be announced next Tuesday, August 15, the league announced on Friday (via Twitter). ESPN’s NBA Today will reveal the full schedule at 3:00 pm ET.
- The Spurs‘ G League affiliate in Austin is losing its head coach, Petar Bozic, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Bozic will be heading to the British Basketball League to coach the London Lions, Woj reports. Bozic was with the Austin Spurs for six seasons — four as an assistant and two as head coach. He will be replacing Ryan Schmidt, who is expected to become the head coach of the Hawks‘ NBAGL affiliate, the College Park Skyhawks, sources tell Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (via Twitter).