Philadelphia 76ers: Surrendering Carsen Edwards to Boston is a bitter pill

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

While getting Matisse Thybulle was obviously the Philadelphia 76ers priority, hand-delivering Carsen Edwards to the Boston Celtics is a high price to pay.

‘And with the 33rd overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select Carsen Edwards, point guard, Purdue.’

Now if I would have told you Wednesday night that Edwards would fall to Philly at 33 it would have probably been a dream come true, however, when it actually happened, it was far more bittersweet.

Why? Because Elton Brand made the pick for Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics.

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That’s right, to jump up and select Matisse Thybulle, the defensive-minded guard out of Washington the team’s clearly coveted, the 76ers had to surrender the 33rd overall selection – Edwards – to move up essentially three spots.


While it’s hard to knock Brand for getting their guy, as the team had reportedly promised Thybulle they’d draft him in the lead up to the draft, it is worth wondering why the team would essentially commit two assets to get their guy in the fray, especially with 11 available roster spots going into free agency.

I mean come on, why didn’t Brand give Ainge the 34th overall pick for crying out loud? Why let Boston’s GM stick it to the team two picks in a row?

And worst of all, Edwards has a chance to be really good for the Celtics right away.

A three-year starter with the Boilermakers, Edwards got better and better with each passing season in West Lafayette; culminating his career with a stat line of 24.3 points, 1.3 steals, 2.9 assists, and 3.6 rebounds a night in 35.4 minutes of action.

Sure, he needs to get a bit better at his 3 point shooting consistency, as Edwards only knocked down 281 of his 763 attempts in college, but it’s conceivable to assume the 6-foot-1 combo guard could immediately translate his talents to the NBA and become the Lou Williams‘-style scorer that many projected him to be in the pre-draft process (like yours truly).

With both Kyrie Irving and Terry Rozier set to test the market on June 30th, adding a young, cost-controlled guard with three years off college experience and a bulldog’s mentality is pretty incredible value in the second round, regardless of how free agency shakes out.

That’s why actually using draft picks to add players is so important: it gives you cheap optionality that’s very hard to come by otherwise.

Could Edwards conceivably spend the majority of his rookie season on the bench? Totally, but it’s just as likely – probably more likely – that Edwards ends up replacing Rozier’s role as Boston’s backup point guard, playing very meaningful minutes behind Irving, Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon, or even Scary Terry himself (though after this ESPN appearance it seems very unlikely).

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As for the Philadelphia 76ers, well, they got their guy. Congrats! Hopefully, he’s everything the front office hopes he can be, because they could have had Nassir Little (or Dylan Windler, or Kevin Porter JR.) AND Carsen Edwards and still had the 34th overall pick to play with. Kind of hard to be excited about that situation even if Matisse Thybulle is a great fit in Philly.