Grizzlies’ Zach Edey forces overtime with wild tip-in save in summer league debut vs. Jazz

Zach Edey had a double-double in his summer league debut with the Grizzlies on Monday night in Utah.

After a strong start to his summer league debut, Zach Edey more than made up for a late blunder on Monday night in Salt Lake City.

Remarkably, it wasn’t quite enough to lift the Memphis Grizzlies to the win.

The former Purdue star, who the Grizzlies selected with the No. 9 overall pick in what was probably the most surprising move during the lottery portion of the NBA Draft last month, missed a potential game-winning putback dunk down the stretch at the Delta Center in their summer league matchup with the Utah Jazz.

Yet with just 0.8 seconds left on the clock, Edey pulled off a wild tip-in after an intentionally-missed free throw to force the extra period. The play, which teams fail to convert more often than not each season, was executed perfectly.

But despite his heroics, the Jazz hit the target score in the Elam Ending-style overtime first off a pair of free throws from Keyonte George. He drew a foul from Edey on a drive to the rim before hitting his 16th and 17th free throws of the night to seal the 97-95 win. George, who the Jazz took with the No. 16 overall pick last year out of Baylor, had 30 points in the win.

Edey, who fell into a bit of a lull after a strong first quarter, finished with a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds while shooting 7-of-12 from the field. He threw down a huge dunk over Jazz 7-footer Walker Kessler after recovering from a blocked shot in the fourth quarter, too, that left him scratching his head as he ran back down to the other end.

The Jazz, who rallied out of a double-digit halftime deficit, took the lead with just 18 seconds left in the fourth quarter after a huge 3-pointer from Taylor Hendricks. That’s when Edey missed his dunk, which appeared to seal the loss for Memphis before his tip-in kept their hopes alive a little longer.

Edey, who had six of his 15 rebounds in the first quarter and picked up a technical foul after a small altercation right before halftime, went down in a scary moment in the third quarter after he stepped on Hendricks’ foot. He quickly returned to the game, however, and finished out the night seemingly unbothered by the rolled ankle.

Pippen led the Grizzlies with 21 points and five assists while shooting 8-of-14 from the field. Jake LaRavia added 18 points and seven rebounds. Kessler finished with 10 points, six rebounds and four blocks for the Jazz to go with George’s 30-point night. There were 68 combined fouls in the contest.

Edey averaged a nationwide-best 25.2 points per game last season at Purdue while earning his second consecutive national player of the year award — which is something the sport hasn’t seen done since Ralph Sampson won three straight from 1981-83. Edey also averaged 12.2 rebounds, which was the second-best output in the country, and 2.2 blocks per contest while leading the Boilermakers to the national title game.

The 7-foot-4 Toronto native was projected as a late first-round or early second-round pick after the NCAA tournament, but his draft stock quickly rose in the weeks and months leading up to the draft. The Grizzlies were reportedly in negotiations to trade up for the No. 6 overall pick in the draft, but those fell through in the final moments. Edey was the second center off the board. UConn star Donovan Clingan was selected No. 7 overall by the Portland Trail Blazers.

Edey and the Jazz will be back in action on Tuesday and Wednesday against the Philadelphia 76ers and the Oklahoma City Thunder, respectively, before they head to Las Vegas for more summer league action on Friday. While he wasn’t consistent the entire night, Edey showed flashes of the center he can be for the Grizzlies this season on Monday. As far as summer league debuts go, Edey is in a good place.

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