Seton Hall's Fuquan Edwin wasn't a highly-sought NBA draft prospect in college by any means, but nevertheless he's aiming to latch on and contribute on the wing.
He's the type of swingman who flies all-around the court and makes plays on both ends. The 2014 Big East Defensive Player of the Year is poised to be an opportunistic stopper and an off-ball role player on offense.
Due to his inability to create off the dribble via advanced moves, he will operate primarily as a catch-and-shoot option and an open-floor slasher. In order to maximize his potential in the Association, he'll have to do all the little dirty work to give his team an edge.
The shooting guard and small forward positions are not easy to execute in the NBA. Can Edwin do enough to fulfill the duties?
At the Portsmouth Invitational this spring, Edwin measured 6’5.25” in socks, so he’s presumably in the 6’6” range with shoes on. That height along with his 6’8.25” wingspan and 8’7” standing reach give him solid size on the wing.
He’s not incredibly strong, however, and he’s not an upper-echelon athlete. Edwin is mobile and quick enough as a slasher, but he doesn’t possess that top-tier burst of speed or springy elevation.
That said, he moves his feet well and he has quick hands on defense, which is a big reason why he plucked the most steals in Seton Hall history.
Offensively, he’s not afraid to drive toward defenders and finish up through contact.
Edwin's not going to force as many turnovers in the NBA as he did in college, nor will he be an elite defender. However, his aggressive instincts will be beneficial and he's going to make some plays.
Draft Express scout Jonathan Givony explains why Edwin excelled defensively in college (even if it won't all translate to the pros):
His long arms, terrific quickness, high intensity level and amazing anticipation skills make him an absolute terror in the passing lanes...Edwin's foot speed allows him to cover huge amounts of ground and absolutely wreak havoc on opposing guards. He gets over the top of screens with ease and regularly picks opponents' pockets in the backcourt, coming up with tons of easy baskets by virtue of his hustle and the way he just seems to naturally gravitate towards the ball.
Edwin will be able to check most small forwards and shooting guards in the league, as he brings some versatility that shouldn't be underestimated.
Although he only shot 33 percent from beyond the arc as a senior, we saw stretches of proficient shooting from Seton Hall's star throughout his career.
From his sophomore to senior seasons, he averaged 37 percent from distance, as he gradually ironed out his unorthodox delivery and became a productive catch-and-shoot weapon.
Givony also noted that Edwin shot the ball well during the Portsmouth Invitational, hitting a "barrage" of three-pointers and looking the part of an NBA player.
If he's able to slide open for catch-and-shoot triples in the corner or jumpers off screens, he'll be a more viable offensive player in the rotation.
Open-Floor Playmaking and Intangibles
This isn't necessarily one specific skill or strength, but it's important to touch upon. At Seton Hall, Edwin thrived on making plays and pushing the ball in transition once he forced a turnover.
He doesn't attack off the dribble much in half-court scenarios, but when he sees an opportunity, he aggressively takes advantage despite his limited ball-handling skills. He isn't too shy to leap in traffic on slashing attempts.
Edwin is also keenly aware of his teammates, as he makes timely dishes out to shooters or smart passes on fast breaks.
Overall, he supplies energy in all facets of the game, so it will be difficult for coaches to completely deny him.
There are a couple key factors that will limit Edwin's role and effectiveness in the NBA.
First is his ball-handling ability and left-handed dexterity inside the arc. He struggles to be inventive with the ball, as he lacks the moves and the shiftiness to break down his man in isolation. Also, when he drives, he heavily prefers finishing with his right hand, something that will be quickly identified and neutralized by opponents.
While his jump-shooting isn't necessarily a weakness, his form and delivery are somewhat concerning. His arm structure and release are unconventional and not fundamental, which is likely a big reason for his inconsistency in college.
He needs to smooth things out a bit more if he wants to be a regular threat from NBA-range.
Many scouts and analysts have referred to Edwin as a "Three-and-D" type of wing off the bench. His shooting performances in summer league and training camp will determine whether he even gets a chance to shoot or showcase that defense.
In a best-case scenario, he could serve as a peripheral swingman who sees 10-15 minutes to give his team energy.
Down the road, this "Three-and-D" role could be a bigger one, especially if he proves himself shooting-wise over his first couple years.
As the type of player foes need to keep track of, he could stretch the floor, attack closeouts and make all the smart plays offensively.
On the other side, he could be even better, as he has the potential to guard up to three positions. With a year or two of experience competing with NBA-caliber playmakers, he could earn the status of a valuable defender.
Don't undersell the importance of glue guys, because they almost always find a way to influence the game.