The Trail Blazers’ memorable postseason run might be over, but the the 2019 NBA Draft is right around the corner. Portland’s President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey currently has the No. 25 pick in the draft at his disposal and he will look to supplement the Blazers’ roster with a talented prospect in the latter stages of the first round. Today we look at Purdue Boilermakers point guard Carsen Edwards.
- Height: 6’0”
- Weight: 199
- Wingspan: 6’6”
- Shooting Hand: Right
- Position: PG
- Age: 21
- Projected draft range: 25-35
- PTS: 24.3 | Per 40: 27.4
- AST: 2.9 | Per 40: 3.3
- REB: 3.6 | Per 40: 4.1
- STL: 1.3 | Per 40: 1.5
- FG%: 39.4
- 3P%: 35.5
- FT%: 83.7
Utilizing a modern offensive skillset, Carsen Edwards has all the tools to be an impact player on the offensive end. Don’t let his modest three-point percentage fool you, Edwards is a serious threat to score from long distance. With the ball, he does an excellent job navigating through screens to create just enough space to get into his tight-and-accurate shooting form. Even without the assistance of a teammate, Edwards has the quickness and ball-handling chops to fire off deadly pull-up attempts. Off the ball, he is just as proficient in catch-and-shoot situations.
Defensively, Edwards is pedestrian at best. On the plus side, his 6-foot-6 wingspan covers for his lack of ideal height. When surrounded by the right teammates, he should be able to hold his own.
Outside of his three-point shooting exploits, Edwards’ offense quickly dissolves. He is a below-the-rim finisher that lacks an intermediate game. Without those two traits, Edwards’ offense can become predictable. Regardless of his score-first role with the Boilermakers, it is concerning that he hasn’t shown glimpses of being a high-level facilitator. At the next level, Edwards will have to reign in parts of his shot selection to raise his efficiency to a respectable NBA standard.
Defensively, Edwards leaves a lot to be desired. From taller opponents to crafty ball handlers, the Texas native has shown that he can be exploited inside and off the dribble.
Edwards’ three-year career with the Boilermakers reached a fever pitch with an absolutely stunning performance in the NCAA Tournament. He crossed the 25-point threshold in all four outings and completed two separate 42-point outbursts in Purdue’s run to the Elite Eight. Prior to the tournament, Edwards secured a place on the All-Big Ten First Team. Like Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, Edwards thrived despite being the first name listed on opposing scouting reports for the majority of his college career.
The NBA continues to expand beyond the three-point line, making Edwards an intriguing option for teams seeking offensive firepower. He is unlikely to replicate his senior season rate of 10.6 three-point attempts per game as a professional, but he is capable of shifting momentum with timely scoring off the bench in a reduced role. Due to the noteworthy flaws in his game, Edwards’ ceiling aligns closely with an instant-offense reserve guard.
Edwards’ fit with the Blazers is tied to the future of two players: Anfernee Simons and Seth Curry. If Curry signs elsewhere this summer, Purdue’s leading man could provide Portland with a modestly-priced alternative off the bench. Simons’ future position is also a factor for any guard that the Blazers consider drafting. If Portland tabs Simons as a point guard, things will get crowded behind Lillard in hurry.
As far as Edwards’ game goes, his three-point heroics would be a welcome addition. In situations alongside Lillard, opposing defenses would be stretched thin the moment both of them crossed half court.
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