10 NBA Draft prospects who can rise or fall in SEC Tournament

The SEC Tournament approaches. Here are the NBA Draft prospects who most deserve your attention.

Reed Sheppard, Kentucky
Reed Sheppard, Kentucky / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
3 of 5

6. Kentucky's Justin Edwards is looking to build on recent momentum

Justin Edwards entered the season ranked No. 1 on a lot of boards. Now, he's barely clinging to life as a second-round prospect. Maybe he would benefit from another year of school, but with so little guaranteed in the world of college basketball, the general expectation is that Edwards will still try his luck in the NBA Draft.

There have been signs of growth from Edwards, most notably in his recent 29-point performance against Alabama on Feb. 24. The five-star recruit went 10-for-10 from the field in that game, including four made 3s. He's still the prototypical NBA athlete on the wing, standing 6-foot-8 with an explosive first step and built-in defensive versatility. Edwards is a strong March away from vaulting back into the first round on mock drafts.

With Edwards, he is plainly limited as a self-creator and playmaker. That said, NBA teams will invest in elite off-ball scorers. Edwards butters his bread by attacking off the catch and relocating into open space. If he can get NBA teams to invest in the shot-making and the athletic profile, Edwards still has a chance to move up draft boards.

5. Kentucky's D.J. Wagner still has first round upside

Another Kentucky prospect who can make or break his NBA Draft case in March. Not dissimilar to Edwards, D.J. Wagner entered the season as a projected top-10 pick before enormous struggles pushed him back to the second round. Wagner has less room for error as a 6-foot-3, 175-pound guard, but there has been enough growth to instill hope for a productive and transformative postseason run.

Wagner continues to start games in the backcourt, despite the vastly superior output of his reserves. That long leash from John Calipari could pay off down the stretch, at least in terms of NBA Draft stock. Wagner is a nutty athlete, blessed with an elite first step and a penchant for rim pressure. If he can translate that to more efficient scoring in the SEC Tournament and beyond, it will be hard for NBA scouts to ignore him. Especially in a class limited to only a few surefire creators.

Wagner has displayed excellent ball control for Kentucky, averaging 3.4 assists to only 1.6 turnovers, and the 3-point shot has slowly come along (32.1 percent on 3.2 attempts). Those are the key points of focus for scouts — can Wagner finish, can he shoot 3s, and how well does he orchestrate the offense? If he can avoid being completely overshadowed by his backcourt teammates, Wagner still has first round upside.