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2017 NBA Draft Tracker: Which SEC underclassmen are leaving?

Here’s your source for who’s going to the NBA and who’s returning for another season.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional-Kentucky vs North Carolina Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

With college basketball season over, it’s time to start looking ahead to the NBA Draft.

There are two deadlines to know. A player who is not automatically eligible for the draft (for our purposes, college seniors) must declare for the draft prior to April 23. However, a player who declares for the draft and does not hire an agent may withdraw his name prior to May 24 and return to college. So we’ll distinguish between players who have hired an agent (at least publicly) and those who haven’t, as the latter may wind up returning to school. Any player who hires an agent immediately forfeits any remaining college eligibility.

Declared for draft and hired an agent

  • De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky (source)
  • Malik Monk, Kentucky (source)

No real surprises here. Fox and Monk are both projected lottery picks who have little real reason to return to school.

Declared for draft, but may return to school

  • Bam Adebayo, Kentucky (source)
  • John Egbunu, Florida (source)
  • Devin Robinson, Florida (source)

While Bam Adebayo hasn’t announced that he will hire an agent, I will be surprised if he returns to college. The latest mock draft at NBADraft.net has Adebayo going with the 20th pick. That’s not in the lottery, but it’s also going to be hard to pass up if he’s safely in the first round.

I’ll grant that Egbunu and Robinson were, at least according to the linked article, noncommittal about the NBA Draft to begin with, but neither one is even listed in the mock draft for 2017 (Robinson is projected as a late second-round pick... in 2018) and both would be served by returning to school. Of course, Egbunu might be concerned about a season-ending injury potentially hurting his draft stock if he comes back and isn’t the same.

No (Public) Decision

  • Braxton Key, Alabama
  • Mustapha Heron, Auburn
  • Danjel Purifoy, Auburn
  • Yante Maten, Georgia
  • Isaiah Briscoe, Kentucky
  • Wenyen Gabriel, Kentucky
  • Antonio Blakeney, LSU
  • Quinndary Weatherspoon, Mississippi State
  • PJ Dozier, South Carolina
  • DJ Hogg, Texas A&M
  • Tyler Davis, Texas A&M

It’s kind of a sign of the times that we need to list this many players as awaiting a decision, because most of these guys — with the exceptions of Dozier and Gabriel and maybe Heron -- won’t even sniff the first round if they declare. Of course, in 2017, nobody declaring for the draft ever surprises me.

Returning to School

  • Robert Williams, Texas A&M (source)
  • Matthew Fisher-Davis, Vanderbilt

Robert Williams, in a pretty big surprise, announced a couple of weeks ago that he would return for his sophomore season. Williams was projected as a late-lottery pick but instead will be back with the Aggies next year. Fisher-Davis seemed to confirm on Twitter that he’d be returning to Vanderbilt after being the Commodores’ leading scorer as a junior.

Not eligible

  • Austin Wiley, Auburn

The five-star recruit enrolled at Auburn at midseason, but he won’t be entering the NBA Draft -- because he won’t be 19 until next January. Under NBA rules, this means he’s not eligible for the 2017 draft.