For players, getting invited to the NBA Draft night “green room” — a staging area for the players and their family/agents to hang out before being called up on stage after being selected — matters because it means they are likely a first-round pick. The league invites about 20 players to the room, which is really an open area in front of the podium, and the guys there are considered first-round locks. The league doesn’t want the story to be about “Player X falling down the board” as we watch him squirm uncomfortably in his chair.
The first invitations to the room went out, reports Jonathan Givony of ESPN, and the expected names are on there:
Williamson and Morant are all but locks to go first and second. Barrett likely is the No. 3 pick, although there are teams not as high on him and it’s possible Garland or Culver jump up, depending on what team makes the pick (the Knicks own the No. 3 pick but are shopping it around in an effort to bring in veteran stars).
Other players will get invited to the green room, and still other players will just make their way to New York anyway. The Draft is June 20th at the Barclay’s Centre in Brooklyn (home of the Nets).