Height: 6’0” Weight: 199 Wingspan: 6’6” Age: 21 College: Purdue Hometown: Atascocita, Texas
Carsen Edwards is the most confident shooter in the draft. I know he’s an undersized guard that isn’t a great passer but he’s an elite scorer. I don’t care what position he’s at his role is scorer. He had a low field goal percentage last year at 39%, but it’s more efficient than it sounds because of how many threes he took, and how often he got to the line. He also shot 84% from the line. He had a 0.9 A/to ratio which needs work, and he only had 3.3 assists per 40 minutes. He is not a playmaker just a scorer, but a great one that averaged 27.4 points per 40. He can help a team with floor spacing, and shot creation. He can hurt a team with his decision making. He has a very good mentality and always looks like he’s in the zone. He is not afraid of the big moment, and was no doubt the best player in the NCAA tournament. He scored 26, 42, 29, and 42 in the games and Stephen Curry was the only player ever to achieve numbers like this. He was a box out away from leading his team to the final 4.
Carsen Edwards shooting ability is the key to unlocking everything in his scoring. He was only in 61st percentile in jump shots, but this was because the ridiculously tough shots he attempted. There is still no doubt he is one of the best shooters in the draft, and a top 3-5 scorer in the draft. He has the confidence to pull and make shots from 25-30 feet so you have to pick him up really early. He also has a super quick release so you can’t give him any air space. He’s a good iso player and was in the 77th percentile in isolations including passes. You have to get ridiculously close to him or he will pull the jumper, and since defenders play very close to him he often blows right by them. He also has a solid mid range game, when his much more efficient layups and threes are cut off by the defense. If defenders sag off him he plays out of hang dribbles and is very good at getting the defender to back up and create space for his jumper out of these. He’s great at stepbacks also because he reads very well when the defender turns his hips, and this is a great time to use a stepback. This is very instinctual for him. When he gets to the rim, he’s not a great finisher because of his lack of size. He can use both hands, and deals with contact well because of his very good strength, but he was still just in the 32nd percentile as a finisher because his lack of size. I expect Edwards will come off a decent amount of Pick and Rolls in the NBA. He’s good at it, but not great at it. He was in the 60th percentile in Pick and Rolls including passes. He had very high volume which makes it harder to remain efficient. He’s a great scorer out of the Pick and Roll, but he’s not a great playmaker out of it. He rarely looks to pass instead of score, and also can’t see over top of defenders because of how short he is. He is a great scorer out of the Pick and Roll because he is an elite pull up threat from three or mid range. He also is very good at reading when the defender goes early so he can reject screens, or just pull an early jump shot.
Edwards has a chance to be a very effective off ball player if he’s placed with another shot creator. He was in the 75th percentile in spot up situations last year. He could have been much more efficient but he only shot a no dribble jumper 43% of the time and his efficiency was an incredible 1.4PPP on these. His total efficiency in spot ups was 1.048PPP, so if he shot more instead of relying on dribble pull ups he would be way more efficient. I hope when he plays with guys near his level of scoring ability he will realize how valuable he can be as a spot up shooter that the defense can’t help off of. Edwards has potential being used coming off of off ball screens, but this year he was average and only in the 51st percentile. He’s a great shooter coming off screens, but he shoots it whether he’s open or not, and this is why he only had average efficiency in that category. He needs to work on his decision making in these situations.
Edwards will never be a great defender in the NBA, but is definitely better than most give him credit for. His height won’t be near the issue people think it is because his very good strength, and 6’6” wingspan. Your head being higher than someone doesn’t do too much for you on defense, your arms being long is much more important than how tall you are. This is a misconception people have, and I hope one day people will realize it is much more to look at a players wingspan than height for basketball. Because of Edwards good length for his height and good strength he can guard 1-2, and a good amount of 3’s. He’s average at staying in front of the ball. He’s quick, but is sometimes too upright in his stance, and more focused on denying passing lanes for his man with the ball then just staying in front of him. If he works on this he could become a solid defender.
Carsen Edwards is the most slept on player in this draft class. He will be a bucket-getter from day 1 with a dog mentality. He needs to be with a coach that will let him do his thing, because even though he does take bad shots sometimes, he helps his team out a lot more when he’s being aggressive. Matt Painter did a great job of letting him play his game at Purdue and I hope his NBA coach does the same. Carsen Edwards floor is a bucket-getting role player off the bench that plays 10-20 minutes because of being a bad decision maker. It is likely that he becomes a first or second offensive option on a team, and scores 20 a game. He doesn’t necessarily need to be an all-star or even starter to play this role. I can see him playing a Lou Williams type role even though they have different styles of scoring. I believe Edwards will develop into the high volume scorer Lou is, which is great although they are both a little inefficient, but Edwards is a better defender than Lou. His absolute peak, which I don’t think is likely, is too get to Damian Lillard’s level of player. If he improves his decision making, and defense, while continuing to improve his strengths there is a chance this could happen. Even if it Edwards doesn’t get the chance he deserves early in his career I will never doubt him because of his dog mentality.