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DJ Wagner dubbed one of the 20 most important CBB names over the next 20 years

Wagner, along with his potential NIL deal, could help shape the future of college basketball.

Camden Panthers v Imhotep Charter Panthers Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The Kentucky Wildcats have been a recruiting powerhouse over the last decade.

This upcoming class will be among the best head coach John Calipari has had in Lexington. The Cats have the No. 1 overall recruiting class, and that includes three of the top four players in the nation.

While Justin Edwards is the highest-rated recruit joining the Cats next season, slightly edging DJ Wagner, the latter is arguably the biggest name entering college basketball next season.

That’s how he found his name on the list of the top 20 most important figures in college basketball for the next 20 years. The reasoning why is pretty clear, and it is because Wagner will trailblaze the path for massive NIL deals.

“Wagner will be the first big college basketball profit maker in the age of NIL (presuming Bronny James doesn’t go to college). The sport has had its share of early success stories — Oscar Tshiebwe has done quite nicely for himself — but NIL started when college hoops lacked a high-profile recruit to capture the market,” The Athletic’s Dana O’Neil wrote.

The list Wagner appeared on featured many that won’t actually take to the court, such as Klutch Sports’ agent Rich Paul and NCAA President Charlie Baker. While those names may spearhead how the future looks, Wagner is going to be impactful for the high-profile names that follow him.

With over 2,000 career points in high school, Wagner stands 6-foot-4 and should be among the most dynamic guards in the nation this upcoming season. Chances are Wagner only stays in college one season as he’s primed to be among the top picks in the 2024 NBA Draft.

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