The NBA’s invitations to the draft are among the biggest indicators of players’ draft stock. The league confers with teams to gauge interest in prospects, trying to invite a sizable number but avoid anyone suffering in the green room for an extended period.
The first 10 invites went out more than a week ago to players who all seemed to be likely lottery picks. The remaining invitations, for players in a less predictable portion of the draft, are more revealing.
June 10 Update
June 14 Update
Seven more invitations to the NBA Draft went out today, sources told DraftExpress. Luke Kennard, Donovan Mitchell, Justin Jackson, Justin Patton, Harry Giles, T.J. Leaf and Bam Adebayo all received Green Room invites
If we presume invitation order is tied to likelihood of getting picked in the top 20, with the league rushing to invite certainties and being more deliberate with players who have wider ranges, we’d get three tiers:
- Most likely: Lonzo Ball, Zach Collins, De'Aaron Fox, Markelle Fultz, Jonathan Isaac, Josh Jackson, Lauri Markkanen, Malik Monk, Dennis Smith, Jayson Tatum
- More likely: Frank Ntilikina, Jarrett Allen, John Collins
- Somewhat likely: Luke Kennard, Donovan Mitchell, Justin Jackson, Justin Patton, Harry Giles, T.J. Leaf, Bam Adebayo
It’s interesting that Jarrett Allen and John Collins received invitations before several players in the third group. Consider this an indication those two have separated themselves.
The third group is mostly comprised of the expected players, though I’m a little surprised T.J. Leaf made the cut and particularly intrigued by Giles. Leaf could quite easily go in the top 20, but it appeared his stock was more questionable than his group peers. Giles’ injury history is the type of thing that leads to a draft freefall, but maybe he checked out medically.
The two big omissions: O.G. Anunoby and Ike Anigbogu. Anunoby is injured right now, and this might mean he has particularly concerning medical red flags. I like Anigbogu more than some players invited, but he played so little as a freshman at UCLA, perhaps the league didn’t view him as a safe invite.