Former Purdue guard Carsen Edwards was taken by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 33rd pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday. The 76ers traded the pick to the Boston Celtics, who also drafted Indiana guard Romeo Langford in the first round.
Edwards, who played three seasons at Purdue and was one of the most prolific scorers in school history, becomes the 50th Boilermaker ever to be drafted and the eighth under Matt Painter. Edwards is Purdue's highest selection since Homestead graduate and 2015 Indiana Mr. Basketball Caleb Swanigan went No. 26 overall in 2017.
The 6-foot, 200-pound Edwards saw his draft stock skyrocket after putting together one of the best NCAA Tournament appearances in recent memory. He scored 42 points twice in four games and led the Boilermakers to their first Elite Eight since 2000 before falling to eventual national champion Virginia in overtime.
Edwards set an NCAA Tournament record with 28 3-pointers and became the first player since Davidson's Steph Curry in 2008 to win Most Outstanding Player in his regional despite his team not reaching the Final Four. That performance, including a masterpiece with 10 3-pointers against the suffocating Cavaliers, catapulted Edwards up draft boards and likely played a significant role in the two-time All-American getting picked as highly as he did.
He will likely play some point guard in the NBA because of his size, though he wasn't much of a facilitator at Purdue. The Boilermakers needed him to be a scorer – he averaged 24.3 points per game, ninth in the country, as a junior – and he has emphasized that he wanted to do whatever he could to help the team. He might have gone slightly higher in the draft had teams had some more film of Edwards being a playmaker. He could also be an off-the-bench, instant-offense type of scorer in the league, though he will have to work very hard on the defensive end to become a regular starter.
The Celtics are coming off a trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals, but are in danger of losing all-stars Kyrie Irving and Al Horford in free agency this summer. Edwards will likely battle Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier and Langford for playing time in the backcourt.