Zach Edey Was An Absolute Force In His Impressive Summer League Debut

Melissa Majchrzak. Getty Images.

I'm going to be completely honest with you, I don't really get the Zach Edey hate. Granted I didn't exactly watch every second of his college career, and I understand how his whistle was fucked while at Purdue while he completely dominated everyone, but even still. All I heard heading into the Draft was he was going to stink and that the Grizzlies were idiots at taking him #9. I dunno, you can't teach giant, and in the NBA situation is everything. Why couldn't Edey be a solid player in Memphis?

Tonight we got our first look at Edey at the "next level" in his Summer League debut against the Jazz, and I know. It's summer league. I'm probably one of like 15 people on the planet who

A) Watch these games 

B) Cares about what happens in these games

It's a sickness I live with, and you of course have to take everything you see this time of year with a gigantic grain of salt. Everyone knows that in Summer League everything positive you see will absolutely translate to the real games and anything negative you see can be ignored because these games are fake and don't mean anything. 

So when it comes to Edey's debut, I'd say it wasn't half bad!

As someone who didn't watch a ton of Edey in college, is he normally this thin? He looks like he's in great shape which I feel like is half the battle at this level for him. Watching him move/run I didn't get the sense that he was like a fish out of water, even if this was just Summer League and his first-ever game. Nothing overly flashy, just what you would expect with a guy who's 7'4. Again, with a guy like that all you have to do is run to the rim and catch the ball. Add in some rim protection and good health and that's an easy 10+ years in the league.

The beauty of these games at this time of year is weird shit is bound to happen. That's what you get with gross Summer League basketball. For example, one minute you are smoking the easiest bunny of your life for a chance to take the lead


and the internet is ready to pounce. Those who hate on Edey were foaming at the mouth for a moment like this, and they nearly had it. The thing is, on the very next possession Zach Edey totally redeemed himself!

Like I said, you can't teach giant. Talk about execution on an intentionally missed FT. That might have been one of the best intentional misses at the line we've ever seen, allowing Edey the perfect amount of time to crash the glass and use his massive size for the putback to send the game to OT. What a wave of emotion that had to be for Edey at that moment. You go from staying up all night replaying that smoked putback in your head while you stare at the ceiling to becoming the hero for a moment (even though the Jazz won in OT on some bullshit foul). Good for him and good for the Grizzlies.

In the end, it's hard to complain about 14/15 with 4 blocks on 7-12 in 32 minutes for Edey. That was the exact type of performance you're looking for if you're the Grizzlies and why you drafted him #9 overall. For all the clowning you tend to see about Edey and what he'll be able to do at the NBA level, he seemed to look OK to me. 

Granted this time of year is exactly when you should overreact and let your brain go to places they probably shouldn't, which I imagine Grizzlies fans are doing. Remember, next year their whole team won't be suspended/injured and now they could be adding a real piece at the center position? Plenty of reason to be excited if you ask me.