SF/PF, Senior, Purdue, 6’8 225, 22 years old
14.6ppg, 47.5% FG, 39.8% 3P, 83.3% FT, 7.4rpg, 2.9apg
Vincent Edwards declared for the draft last season, but decided against it and returned to Purdue for his senior season. He put together his most impressive season yet. That sort of improvement every year should have some sort of impact on a player’s draft stock. So why is Edwards mocked at 50 according to tankathon.com?
When looking at players who will be available at the back half of the second round, we usually end up looking more at flaws than attributes. Reasons the player isn’t drafted higher. For Vincent Edwards, the positives are pretty clear. He’s a versatile scorer. His shooting has improved every year, and he projects to be a good shooter at the next level. He has great size for a wing and would be able to play the 4 in a small lineup.
But when it comes to Edwards’ flaws, it’s less about any one particular flaw (although one flaw is he doesn’t generate turnovers), and more about the word “enough.” Yes, he’s a good shooter…but is he good enough? He has some athleticism…but is he athletic enough? He’s a decent defender…will that be enough for the NBA? In addition to his age, his inability to set himself apart in any one category is what makes him such a low prospect in this year’s draft. Edwards has all the tools to be a jack-of-all-trades type role player, but the fear is that he may not be good enough at any one of that trades to stand out. However, if he can find a team with the right coaching and personnel, perhaps those “good enough”s can be molded into a quality role player.
How Does He Fit?
About as well as any player who’s 6’8 does on a mostly wingless team, which is to say rather well. My immediate thought about him when reading his profile was Darius Miller, but his scoring tendencies and ability is more varied than Miller’s. They both have good wing size, and they both seem to be reluctant shooters, although Miller changed that this season. But if Edwards can adjust to the NBA three-point line, then he could be a valuable addition off the bench for the Pelicans, especially in a Gentry system. His shooting and ability to score in different ways could shake things up for a bench unit that was among the worst in the league.
The main question you have to ask when looking at a guy like Edwards is how much better he can get. Usually with college seniors, there’s a sense that their ceiling is lower than freshmen and sophomores, and the eye test for Edwards seems congruous with that assumption. However, this coaching staff has been able to squeeze blood from a stone on a few occasions, most notably the aforementioned Miller. Overall I think Edwards would be a welcome addition to the bench, provided he can shore up any defensive lapses he may have and extend his shooting range.
What do you think about the Pelicans adding another Boilmaker? Or do you have any thoughts on the Pels’ draft in general? Let us know in the comments section!