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Source: Zion leads 9 invited to draft green room

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Nine players received invitations to attend the NBA draft and sit in the green room, a source told ESPN.

Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, RJ Barrett, Darius Garland, De'Andre Hunter, Jarrett Culver, Coby White, Cam Reddish and Jaxson Hayes received the first batch of invites, the source said, with an additional 11 invites expected to be sent out in the coming days, depending on confirmations the NBA receives from the first group. The league hopes to have 20 players in the green room.

The green room is a staging area in front of the NBA draft podium where players, families and agents await commissioner Adam Silver to call a player's name upon selection.

The process of deciding which players to invite to the draft involves communication with general managers of teams picking throughout the first round. This is to ensure that players aren't sitting for very long under the bright lights before a national television audience as the second round approaches.

Receiving an invitation is considered a positive sign for a player's draft stock, although there have been instances in the past of prospects falling to the second round while sitting in the green room.

All nine of the players invited thus far are projected to be drafted in the top 10 in the latest ESPN mock draft. French forward Sekou Doumbouya, who is projected ninth, is expected to be in the second wave of players invited, a source told ESPN.