CHICAGO – Carsen Edwards says he’s eager to fulfill any role an NBA team asks of him.
The Purdue combination guard has the potential to provide instant offense off the bench. And that’s one role the 76ers need to fill. At 5-foot-10 ¾, the 21-year-old will probably play point guard on the next level -- another Sixers need.
“I’d love to go to Philly,” Edwards said Thursday at the NBA draft combine at Quest Multisport. “But at the same time, it’s their decision. I just got to get one team to love me. If they love me and want me and invest in me, I’m going to give them everything I have and also try to fill in that role.”
The Texas native talked about staying ready for and working hard throughout the draft process. Edwards said he’s determined to be prepared for wherever he lands in the NBA draft, which will be held June 20 in Brooklyn.
But with his makeup, he would love that role as instant-offense reserve for the Sixers, right?
“Absolutely, I would,” Edwards said with a smile. “I would love that, yeah. So just stay ready. If that opportunity comes, I got to be prepared.”
The Sixers have the 24th pick in the first round and four second-round selections – Nos. 33, 34, 42, and 54.
Edwards, who is projected to be a late-first-round pick, should be available at 24.
He averaged career bests of 24.3 points, 2.9 assists, and 1.3 steals as mostly a shooting guard this past season at Purdue. The junior also made 35.5 percent of his three-pointers.
Villanova coach Jay Wright called the rock-solid Edwards a “thick Allen Iverson” before the teams met in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in March. That’s because the 199-pounder is lighting-quick on the ball and gets almost any shot he likes despite being undersize. And, like Iverson, he got the bulk of his team’s shots.
He went on to make things tough for Wright and Villanova, finishing with 42 points while making 9 of 16 three-pointers in the Boilermakers’ 87-61, victory.
All that came after Edwards withdrew his name from the 2018 NBA draft. He had attended last summer’s draft combine and worked out for several NBA teams, but he decided to return to Purdue to improve the things NBA coaches said he needed to work on.
“First off, they are trying to understand if I’m an in-between, if I’m a one, if I’m a two,” he said of NBA teams’ feedback last year. “What would I play in the league? Also from that, decision-making.
"When I am playing the one, get a better feel at the end, seeing things before it happens. More point guard feel, they wanted me to improve on those things and handle that role a little bit better.”
With his play this season, he elevated himself into a projected first-rounder.