But what about more marginal first-round prospects?
The NBA’s draft invite list is an important tool in judging their stock. The league wants to avoid players sitting in agony until their names are called. So, the NBA works to invite only the prospects most likely to get picked high in the draft.
The full list of invited players (which the league notes is subject to change):
- DeAndre Ayton (Arizona)
- Luka Doncic (Real Madrid)
- Jaren Jackson Jr. (Michigan State)
- Marvin Bagley (Duke)
- Mohamed Bamba (Texas)
- Michael Porter (Missouri)
- Trae Young (Oklahoma)
- Wendell Carter (Duke)
- Mikal Bridges (Villanova)
- Miles Bridges (Michigan State)
- Collin Sexton (Alabama)
- Kevin Knox (Kentucky)
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Kentucky)
- Lonnie Walker (Miami)
- Robert Williams (Texas A&M)
- Zhaire Smith (Texas Tech)
- Jerome Robinson (Boston College)
- Aaron Holiday (UCLA)
- Donte DiVincenzo (Villanova)
- Chandler Hutchison (Boise State)
Luka Doncic will go high in the draft, and though how high is still uncertain, his inclusion on this list says nothing about his stock. It just speaks to whether we’ll see him Thursday night. His attendance will depend at least on when Real Madrid’s season ends, though the NBA is apparently confident enough to list him.
Jerome Robinson has climbed draft boards since the season ended. He must be impressing in workouts and interviews.
Donte DiVincenzo is a bit of a surprise selection, as he’s not widely viewed as a first-round lock. Perhaps, the league is looking to capitalize on his popularity stemming from a breakout NCAA tournament championship game.
This will only reinforce the idea Chandler Hutchinson received a promise. Otherwise, he’s a surprise invitee.
Among the top players not attending: Kevin Huerter (Maryland), Jacob Evans (Cincinnati), Troy Brown (Oregon) and Josh Okogie (Georgia Tech). Though they could go higher than players listed here, that says something about Huerter’s Evans’, Browns’ and Okogie’s stock, too.