Mavericks will soon have their hands full against division foe after draft reload

Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks / Tim Heitman/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks might need to worry about a giant problem when they face the Memphis Grizzlies next season.

Zach Edey was drafted ninth overall in the 2024 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies. Another division rival, San Antonio, got a huge pick-up drafting UConn's Stephon Castle as the sidekick to Victor Wembanyama.

Since defying all the odds starting with being listed as the 436th best player out of high school, Edey has solidified himself as one of the most dominant players in college basketball history out of Purdue.

He also may present a large, and literally, large issue for when the Mavs play their division foe next season.

Zach Edey and the Grizzlies may present problems for the Mavericks

We've all heard the comparisons. Tacko Fall. Luka Garza. Except, Edey was way more dominant than those players at the college level, and his improved draft stock every year shows why his case is much different.

While the Mavs were able to expose Oklahoma City's weakness in the playoffs with Chet Holmgren being their lone interior presence on defense, the Grizzlies will not have that problem. Holmgren proved at 7-foot-1 and 208 pounds to be a solid post presence for years to come. However, size cannot be taught.

Edey presents himself at 7-foot-4 and 300 pounds. Not to mention at the NBA Draft Combine, his wingspan is 7 feet and 10.75 inches, trailing only Wembanyama.

In the pick and roll, Edey covered guards out on the perimeter as good as someone his size could do. Whether it'd be breaking up a lob or an opponent trying to beat him inside on a dribble drive, Edey was right there to make a play on the ball just because of how much ground he covers.

While Luka Doncic helped exploit Rudy Gobert and the Timberwolves in drop coverage, Edey covers much more ground with his length and size, his body is way different compared to guys like Gobert and Holmgren.

Edey can cover guards and big men on a drive or on the perimeter. Especially with Doncic being slower than some of his peers, Edey has more time to react when he's playing defense. While the Mavs had a lot of fun lobbing the ball this season, they may need to set some different play designs against Memphis. Some pick-and-roll situations may not come as easy when the Mavs see Edey and the Grizzlies in the upcoming season.

Also, Dallas big man Dereck Lively II and Edey have matched up against each other before. Duke played Purdue in the Phil Knight Legacy Championship in 2022 where Purdue got the upper hand. Lively II focused on solid defensive play, finishing with five rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Edey was an offensive machine down low, giving Lively II some work, finishing with 21 points and 12 rebounds.

Edey and the Grizzlies may be poised to give the Mavs some problems after reloading this summer, but Dallas will be prepared.

For more on the Mavs this offseason, stay tuned.