Bruce Pearl reveals where he expects Johni Broome to land as a pro if he doesn't return to Auburn basketball

Ole Miss v Auburn
Ole Miss v Auburn / Michael Chang/GettyImages

Bruce Pearl doesn't foresee Johni Broome going in the first round of the 2024 NBA draft should the Plant City, Florida product not return to the Auburn basketball program next season. Instead, Pearl sees a potential second-round selection, undrafted-to-two-way contract path, or even going pro outside of the United States as the main competition with a potential AU NIL offer for Broome.

“Sure,” Pearl said on March 27 when asked if Broome has a chance to come back (h/t “Absolutely. It’s one of his options would be to come back. You’ve gotta weigh what the NIL could be versus what being on a two-way contract or a second round or Europe or things like that. I think that’s something his family is in the process of doing.”

Broome's NBA draft stock could've been a riser had the Tigers not succumbed to Yale in March Madness's Round of 64, but alas, his 24 point, 13 rebound, four assist, two steal, one block outing against the Bulldogs will be overshadowed by Auburn blowing a 10-point lead in the second half of a game they were favored by double-digits.

Of note, though, Broome proved to be a big-game player during the Tigers' SEC Championship run in Nashville, going for two double-doubles in three games and being named the SEC Tournament's MVP; punctuating his All-SEC Tournament performance with a 19/11/3/3 showing against Florida in the title game.

Johni Broome returning to Auburn basketball could boost his value to lottery-pick status

At 21 years old, Broome is still a young man who can boost his draft stock but still have value to NBA GMs in 2025 who want to add a ready-made contributor to their roster. While being the top pick is probably not within the realm of possibility, ending up a lottery pick for a team that underperforms during the 2024-25 season would be the perfect scenario for the former Morehead State star.

The Third-team All-American is already an accomplished big man on an individual level and the Tigers' SEC Tournament win shows he can be part of a winning culture, but making a deep March Madness run would put him on the map for NBA GMs who are still unsure on AU frontcourt products after up-and-down results from Chuma Okeke, Jabari Smith, and Walker Kessler over the last several years.