There are few better indicators of NBA-wide consensus on prospects than draft invites.
The league confers with team executives to determine which players are most highly rated, wanting to avoid another Rashard Lewis-esque wait in the green room. It’s not a perfect process, but teams are less likely to mislead the league than mislead the media. In a time of year filled with rumors, accurate and inaccurate, this is one of the more meaningful tells.
Ten players, including projected top-two picks Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball, have been invited to attend the 2017 NBA draft at the Barclays Center in New York on June 22nd, league sources told DraftExpress.
The invited players, in alphabetical order:
The group of green room prospects is expected to reach up to 20 when ten more invites go out in the next few days
All those players already appeared likely to get drafted high in the first round. No real surprises there.
Frank Ntilikina is the most highly touted player omitted, an interesting signal on his stock. But I bet he gets included in the next round of invites, which will be far more interesting.
Even the most hyped candidates come with major questions that could sink them deep into the draft: Donovan Mitchell (point guard skills for someone with point guard height), Luke Kennard (athleticism), O.G. Anunoby (injury), Harry Giles (injury). And that’s just five players, including Ntilikina. Whom will the NBA pick for the other five or so invites?