Twenty players have received invitations to attend the 2021 NBA draft and sit in the green room, sources told ESPN.
Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, Jonathan Kuminga, Scottie Barnes, Davion Mitchell, James Bouknight, Keon Johnson, Franz Wagner, Josh Giddey, Jalen Johnson, Corey Kispert, Moses Moody and Kai Jones received the first batch of 15 invites last week, with Alperen Sengun, Cameron Thomas, Ziaire Williams, Chris Duarte and Isaiah Jackson receiving the final five nods.
The green room is a staging area in front of the NBA draft podium where players, families and agents await the moment when commissioner Adam Silver calls a player’s name upon selection.
The process of deciding which players to invite to the draft involves communication with general managers of teams picking throughout the first round. Teams are asked to vote on the top 25 players they expect will have their names called first. This is to ensure that players aren’t sitting for very long under the bright lights before a national television audience as the second round approaches.
Receiving an invitation is considered a positive sign for a player’s draft stock, although there have been plenty of instances in the past of prospects falling to the second round while sitting in the green room.
All 20 players invited are projected to be picked in the top 25 of the latest ESPN mock draft.
Usman Garuba, considered a likely top-20 pick, was invited but was forced to decline because he is currently with the Spanish national team as part of its preparations for the Tokyo Olympics.