5 Winners and losers of the wildly unpredictable first round of the 2024 NBA Draft

The first round of the 2024 NBA Draft was wildly unpredictable, but which teams came away as winners and which teams disappointed?
2024 NBA Draft - Round One
2024 NBA Draft - Round One / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
4 of 5

Loser: Memphis Grizzlies

It was no secret that the Memphis Grizzlies wanted to draft another big man to pair with Jaren Jackson Jr. and move him to his more natural four spot. It was widely reported that the Grizzlies loved UConn’s Donovan Clingan and wanted to trade up for him, but they were unable to come to a deal and Clingan ended up in Portland. Instead, Memphis panicked and reached and took Purdue big man Zach Edey.

Look, the one thing about Edey is that he is absolutely massive. He’s 7’4” with a near eight-foot wingspan and 300 pounds. He has great touch around the rim and is great at using his size. However, he has a limited offensive game and while he was able to dominate at the college level, players in the NBA are quicker, stronger, and more athletic. He does not offer much versatility and does a lot of his work around the basket.

Edey can’t shoot the ball well either, as he only made one total three in college. His foot speed is subpar and he will just get roasted in pick and roll over and over and over again in the NBA. He can protect the rim well and can alter shots, which is what Memphis needs, but inside the top ten is way too high for Edey.

Edey as currently constructed has the tools to be a serviceable backup big in the NBA today. You don’t take that kind of player in the top ten. Memphis reached on this pick big time and it could backfire, which would hurt them a lot given the fact that they are trying to get back into Western Conference contention.