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Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

Memphis Grizzlies’ Zach Edey Moves Up to NBA Rookie of the Year Betting Favorite

By meerna Jul11,2024
Memphis Grizzlies’ Zach Edey Moves Up to NBA Rookie of the Year Betting Favorite

One NBA Summer League game was enough for the Memphis Grizzlies C Zach Edey to be the favorite to win the 2024-25 NBA Rookie of the Year award. Following his stellar performance in Memphis’ 97-95 overtime win over the Utah Jazz in the Salt Lake City Summer League on Monday, Edey’s rookie of the year odds have risen to +600 on DraftKings and FanDuel.

Edey started with +1200 odds on FanDuel to win Rookie of the Year after the 2024 NBA Draft. He was tied with Charlotte Hornets PF for the No. 6 pick, Tidjane Saiaun, for the seventh best chance to win the prize. Atlanta Hawks big and No. 2, Alexander Sarr now has the second-best odds to win the NBA Rookie of the Year title (+700) after opening as the favorite (+450).

The former Purdue Boilermaker played so hard in his first NBA game that the Grizzlies benched him for the second and third Summer League games against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday. It’s a hunch, but I’d be surprised if Edey plays another meaningless Summer League game.

Despite being the first guy since Ralph Sampson in 1982-83 to win back-to-back Naismith College Player of the Year Awards at Purdue in 2023-24, Memphis selected Edey ninth overall, a move that NBA analysts have deemed a “non-starter,” with skeptics saying the 7-foot-4 prospect lacks the athleticism and lateral quickness to play in today’s NBA.

But Edey is perfect for the Grizzlies. He will play alongside the 2021-22 NBA Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY), SG Marcus Smartand DPOY 2022-23, PF Jaren Jackson Jr. Smart is one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA, and Jackson is an elite rim defender. Two years ago, when healthy and before Smart was acquired, Memphis ranked second in defensive rating.

READ: Clay Travis Says Memphis Grizzlies Lost by Not Selecting Vols Hero in NBA Draft

Additionally, Edey’s size helps Jackson in particular. He needs a true center to help him catch the boards and space them. Jackson’s aggressiveness leads to stupid fouls, and he’s averaging just 5.5 rebounds per game for his career. However, when Edey is on the court, Jackson has less ground to cover, allowing him to focus on the more shifty big men and forwards.

In addition, a Purdue graduate can easily earn credits because I Morant‘s roll man in the pick-and-roll or putbacks when Morant attacks the rim. Ultimately, Edey’s path to Rookie of the Year is doable. If he averages a double-double as a starter and the Grizzlies return to playing top-10 defense, Edey could win the award.

That said, I’m not ready to pull the trigger on any NBA Futures, despite Edey being my early pick for Rookie of the Year. First, it’s July, and I don’t want to tie up my money for the next 11 months on a +600 bet. It would be a different conversation if Edey was at +4,000 or better.

Finally, Sarr and other newcomers such as Houston Rockets SG Reed Shepherd and San Antonio Spurs winger Stephon Castlehe could play well in the Summer League or preseason, which would increase Edey’s chances. Instead of panicking in the heat of summer, let’s wait until we have more information.

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Follow me on X (or Twitter, whatever) @Geoffery-Clark and check out my podcast OutKick Bets for more betting content and casual commentary.

By meerna

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