2. Carsen Edwards
Now, this one is … out of the box. For a team that won three playoff series in the last two seasons, the Boston Celtics probably should not be looking towards the middle of the draft for a replacement for their superstar point guard.
Still, Carsen Edwards could be just the kind of guy that really fancies the likes of head coach Brad Stevens. Through his entire career in Boston, Stevens has made it a habit of breathing life into offensive point guards who can get buckets. Dating all the way back to Jordan Crawford and point forward Evan Turner, to propping up Isaiah Thomas‘ game into the MVP conversation and the all-around brilliance of Kyrie Irving, Stevens is something of a point guard guru.
If there’s a guy within the Celtics’ reach this draft that the team reasonably felt could contribute right away in a guard role, Edwards has to be in consideration. In the event of Irving leaving, and Terry Rozier‘s bridge-burning mission extending into free agency, Edwards fits those guys’ mold.
He’s shoot-first. He told the whole world that during the NCAA Tournament, leading a valiant Purdue run to the Elite Eight with his scorching hot outside shot and takeover mentality. For the season, Edwards averaged 24.3 points per game to just 2.9 assists per game. Those kind of point guards have thrived under Stevens; Irving, Thomas and Rozier are proof of that.
Now, it’s not like Edwards would step in and be tasked with filling the role of Irving. While the hole in the starting lineup could conceivably be filled by Edwards in this scenario, he’d probably only get around 25 minutes a night and share the bulk of playmaking responsibilities with Marcus Smart, Gordon Hayward, Al Horford and the Jays.
Edwards has the right play type to thrive in Boston. He’d be cheap and cost-controlled for the immediate future. He represents a low-risk, moderately high-reward for a potential Celtics team struggling to find itself a dark, post-Kyrie Irving timeline. If he works out: great drafting! If he doesn’t, cut ties and move on. With all these picks, why not take a swing on Edwards?