Purdue star Zach Edey hasn’t shut the door on returning to school depending on where his stock sits ahead of the 2023 NBA draft, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.
Givony said at the 29:27 mark of the Woj Pod that Edey “is right now looking for assurances that he’ll either be picked in the late first round or somewhere early enough in the second round where he’ll get a guaranteed contract.”
The 7’4″ center is also “comfortable” rejoining the Boilermakers if he doesn’t receive those pledges before the May 31 opt-out date.
Edey’s mindset might have been the same in the pre-NIL era. The opportunity to continue working on his game and enjoy one more year of college could’ve outweighed the financial benefits of going pro.
Now, college stars such as Edey don’t have the make the same kind of financial sacrifices. On3 pegged his valuation at $827,000. By comparison, the No. 30 overall pick in the 2023 draft is set to earn just under $2 million as a rookie.
After he collected all of the major individual honors in 2022-23, he shouldn’t have much trouble pulling in some sizable endorsements.
For a player in Edey’s position, college is the safe play because there’s no guarantee he’ll be a first-round pick or selected at all for that matter.
Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman didn’t include him in his most recent mock draft. Givony, meanwhile, had him going 48th overall to the Los Angeles Clippers.
If Edey is likely looking at a mid-to-late second-round selection, then prolonging his Purdue career is arguably the right call. His draft stock is unlikely to significantly improve—at least enough to make him an early first-rounder in 2024—but it probably wouldn’t get much worse.