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 invitations last week, with Alperen Sengun, Cameron Thomas, Ziaire Williams, Chris Duarte and Isaiah Jackson receiving the last five.
The green room is a staging area in front of the NBA draft podium where players, families and agents wait for Commissioner Adam Silver to name a player upon selection.
The process of deciding which players to invite to the draft involves communicating with the general managers of the teams they select throughout the first round. Teams are asked to vote for the top 25 players they expect to be called first. This is to ensure that players are not sitting for too long in bright lights in front of a national television audience as the second round approaches.
Receiving an invite is considered a positive sign for a player’s draft actions, although there have been many instances in the past of prospects falling to the second round while sitting in the green room.
The 20 invited players are projected to be chosen in the top 25 in ESPN’s mock draft.
Usman Garuba, considered probably one of the top 20, is currently with the Spanish national team as part of their preparations for the Tokyo Olympics, and would not have been able to attend had he been invited.