Donning a fresh new suit, surrounded by family and waiting for your name to be called. That's the life of a top prospect on the night of the 2014 NBA draft.
For this year's crop, 21 players have been invited to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to sit in the green room on Thursday night. Chad Ford of ESPN provides a look at all of the prospects invited:
Confirmed NBA Green Room invites: Wiggins, Parker, Embiid, Exum, Vonleh, Gordon, Randle, Smart, McDermott, Saric, Harris, Payton ...— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 20, 2014
More confirmed NBA Green Room invites: Stauskas, Young, LaVine, Nurkic, Payne, Warren, Ennis, Hood, Napier. 21 total.— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 20, 2014
There are no real surprises on this list, with nearly every player projected to be called in the first round. One player to watch might be Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier, as he's projected by several mock drafts to fall out of the top 20.
Where will Joel Embiid be selected?
Another invitee who could see his stock continue to drop might be Joel Embiid. After being a potential No. 1 pick, a foot surgery on Friday will affect where he's chosen.
One Western Conference executive even told Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, "With that type of injury, I wouldn't take him in the top 10." Not exactly comforting remarks for the 7'0" Cameroon center.
As for one prospect who could hear his name called much earlier than initially expected, Elfrid Payton of Louisiana-Lafayette has skyrocketed up draft boards. Several great workouts for the point guard have raised his stock to potentially a top-10 pick.
Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders notes Payton's rise during the draft process:
How much has Elfrid Payton helped his draft stock in recent weeks? I'm hearing that he has received an invite to the NBA Draft green room.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 20, 2014
There's a real chance that Elfrid Payton goes in the lottery. I've heard his range is 7-16. That's what happens when you dominate workouts.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 20, 2014
Nothing is certain in the draft, but nearly every one of these players should see their NBA dreams come true in the first round on Thursday night. Rather than worrying about where they will fall, each of these prospects now have to focus on their suit game for the big day.
Though not every player will be a future superstar, each has a chance to shine at the next level. Despite the fact that players like Michigan's Nik Stauskas and North Carolina State's T.J. Warren will likely go outside of the top 10, both have bright futures ahead of them in the NBA.
The big question that remains now is: Which of these men will go No. 1 overall? It appears Andrew Wiggins has the top spot on lock, with Jabari Parker holding a slim hope as the most polished prospect. We'll all find out on Thursday night, along with the prospects in attendance.
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