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NBA Draft 2021: Brooklyn Nets draft Kessler Edwards with 44th pick

Edwards will head across the country to start his pro career

NCAA Basketball: Pepperdine at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Pepperdine’s three-year man Kessler Edwards has made it to the league. He entered the 2021 NBA Draft without signing an agent, but a strong display of defensive versatility and potential as a 6-foot-8 floor-spacer at the NBA Combine elevated his stock enough to where he was taken by the Brooklyn Nets at pick 44.

As a junior, he shot 37.8 percent from 3-point range on 4.4 attempts per game with 60.6 percent true shooting. He averaged 17.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per contest for Pepperdine. The two-time All-WCC selection was in the conference’s top seven in points, rebounds, blocks, made free throws and made threes.

Players that are drafted outside the lottery don’t always get as many chances as those drafted highly, but Edwards possesses multiple NBA-ready skills and he’s a seasoned basketball player after three seasons with the Waves. Depending on Brooklyn’s free agency decisions, he could be ready for a bench role right off the bat, but otherwise he should have plenty of time and space to expand his game in the G League — if he adds some off-the-dribble creation to his repertoire, Edwards will be in for a long NBA career.