After the Rockets drafted De’Anthony Melton on draft night, it looked as if the Rockets were done for the evening, at least when it came to selecting players with picks.
However, the Rockets pulled the rug out from under us six picks later by purchasing the 52nd pick from the Utah Jazz to select Vincent Edwards, the senior forward out of Purdue.
Edwards was primarily a starter all four years at Purdue and averaged 14.6 points per game in his senior season, leading the Boilermakers to their second consecutive Sweet 16 appearance.
He’ll be seen as a 3-and-D option with the Rockets, as the statistic that catches the eyes the most is his 39.2 percent success rate from beyond the arc. However, we wanted to dig beneath the surface when it came to the newest Rocket, so we went over to our friends at Hammer and Rails to ask them a few questions.
Representing the Purdue SB Nation website is Casey Bartley. Thank you Casey for participating. You can follow him on Twitter @CaseyBartleyhr.
Jeremy Brener, The Dream Shake: What skills did Edwards show at Purdue that put him on NBA radars and draft boards?
Casey Bartley, Hammer and Rails: Edwards is the modern NBA archetype. He’s got great length, a bevy of skills, and can shoot the ball. While his mechanics aren’t the cleanest, it’s impossible to argue against the four years of production. He has a nice first step, is comfortable all over the floor, and does everything pretty well.
Jeremy Brener, The Dream Shake: Are the Rockets a good fit for Edwards? If so, why?
Casey Bartley, Hammer and Rails: Yes. Morey-ball emphasized three-point shooting, spreading the floor, and attacking. Edwards is a supremely talented offensive player that threatens a defense. More so, with Paul and Harden acting as the primary ball handlers and creators, someone like Edward’s could really thrive. He can shoot, but more so is a solid decision maker, especially as the second facilitator.
He played in a motion offense that everyone did a bit of everything. He swings the ball well. He can attack off the dribble. He can post up and go by defenders and he’s really improved as a finisher at the rim.
Jeremy Brener, The Dream Shake: What is his biggest risk?
Casey Bartley, Hammer and Rails: He’s never been a great defender and his shot is pretty slow. If the NBA is a specialist league now, I’m not sure what Vincent will specialize in. He thrived on being too quick for bigs or too big for wings. Those advantages disappear in the NBA.
Jeremy Brener, The Dream Shake: What is the one thing Edwards needs to improve if he wants to succeed in the NBA?
Casey Bartley, Hammer and Rails: He has to become a consistent defender. He’s a step slow on the perimeter and relies on his length more than being constantly engaged and in the right position.
Jeremy Brener, The Dream Shake: Who is his pro player comparison?
Casey Bartley, Hammer and Rails: There’s a bit of Ariza to him, sure, but I think I’d have to go poor man’s Rashard Lewis. Versatile offensive game, in the right situation, he’ll be effective, but he will never run an offense or be a shut down defender.
Jeremy Brener, The Dream Shake: What is your projection for Edwards in his rookie year and overall career?
Casey Bartley, Hammer and Rails: I think he’s ready to play right away. He’s pretty polished. He could do with getting stronger but he’s been a good rebounder and battled down low in the B10. He seems to me to be an 8-to-10-year journey men. Nothing too spectacular, but the length and shooting mixed with a high IQ should keep him on a roster for the next decade.
To read the earlier parts of our ‘New Faces from Old Places’ series, click here: