3 Auburn basketball players who probably won’t be back next season

Auburn had a loaded roster a year ago, but not enough star power. As Bruce Pearl hunts for the latter, he'll likely lose a few established veterans who led his team to the SEC Tournament title.

Auburn Tigers guard K.D. Johnson (0)
Auburn Tigers guard K.D. Johnson (0) / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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K.D. Johnson has already entered his name into the transfer portal, but that doesn’t mean he is for sure out the door. His relationship with Pearl could bring him back for his final season of eligibility, but after his minutes dwindled that year and his dismal performance in the NCAA Tournament, it feels like time for those two to go their separate ways. 

Johnson is an excellent defensive player, but his erratic offensive decision-making and frankly irrational confidence on that end of the floor has drawn criticism over his three years at Auburn. His role has also diminished year over year, from when he was taking 10.1 shots a game in 2021-22, not feeding Jabari Smith Jr. to just 6.0 shots in 17.7 minutes off the bench this past season. 

Johnson had settled nicely into his role as a bench player, still contributing despite not shooting the ball well in the SEC Tournament. Yet, the lasting memory of Johnson in an Auburn uniform will be his 26 minutes against Yale with seven points on nine shots and 0-3 from three with four fouls and a turnover, fitting.