Nate McMillan and the Indiana Pacers suffered through a rough and disappointing 2018-19 NBA season. After getting off to a strong start and being one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, the Pacers saw Victor Oladipo go down with a season-ending torn quad. It was a brutal blow for the Pacers and they ended up getting swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
While it was a disappointing way to end the season, the Pacers should be proud of the effort they put forth. Even without Oladipo, they ended the year as the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Now, the Pacers will switch their attention to the offseason. They have a lot of cap space and a need to bring in quite a few players. In addition to cap space, Indiana also has the No. 18 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
There are quite a few needs that could be pointed to for the Pacers, but shooting and scoring are definitely two areas of need. While they aren’t going to get a star at No. 18, they could get a serviceable player.
One player that would make perfect sense for the Pacers is Purdue guard Carsen Edwards. He may be undersized, but he could play point guard or shooting guard and he is a prolific scorer and shooter. Indiana has also already had him in for a pre-draft workout, which could signal some interest.
All of that being said, let’s dive in and take a look at three reasons Edwards could be a perfect fit for Indiana.
3. Edwards Brings the Type of Spark Indiana Needs
The Pacers had some decent scorers this season, but after Oladipo went down it became clear that they did not have enough. Edwards still has work to do with his shooting percentages, but there is no doubting his scoring. He averaged 24.3 points per game last season at Purdue.
Edwards would be an intriguing fit off the bench for the Pacers. He would play behind Oladipo and Aaron Holiday, along with another guard or two that Indiana will likely bring in this offseason. McMillan and the Pacers love developing players and Edwards could be a huge steal in the future if he develops the right way.
2. Indiana Wants To Improve Their Offensive Pace
McMillan made it clear during his season closing press conference that the Pacers wanted to increase their pace next season. That would be something that fits Edwards game perfectly. He loves to get out and run in transition and has the shooting ability to space the floor.
There is no guarantee that Edwards will translate perfectly to the NBA, but he could be a very good scheme fit for Indiana.
1. He Would Fit the Blue Collar Mindset
Finally, the Pacers have been focusing on their culture and bringing in players that fit that culture over the last few years. Edwards would fit very well into the “blue collar” mindset. He has always worked hard and there is no one that can take that away from him.
He has a lot of talent on the offensive end of the floor and a great work ethic, which could be a deadly recipe for opposing defenses as he develops. The Pacers know that they aren’t going to get a starter at No. 18, but Edwards would give them a bench scorer and shooter that could be very valuable.