Jacobsen a surprise invite to Garden party

Obviously, the NBA knows something that we didn't about the draft status of Stanford's Casey Jacobsen.

Tuesday, June 25

Sources within the NBA said they invited Stanford's Casey Jacobsen to the draft because they were given some assurances that he would go in the first round. The speculation is that Detroit, New Jersey or the Lakers could select Jacobsen in the late first round. Jacobsen's addition to the 16 players who were invited to attend the draft was the shocker late Monday. The NBA wants to avoid any embarrassing situations with a player sitting in front of the stage alone, waiting for his name to be called. There is no more green room with the players situated at tables in front of the podium.

Jacobsen was one of 16 prospects invited by the league to attend the
NBA draft at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday
night. The invitation is considered a key indicator of who the NBA thinks
will be the draft's top picks.

After several high-profile mistakes the past few years, the league has
reduced the number of players invited and done a more thorough job of
researching the projected range of each player.

Remember Jumaine Jones crying in 1999 after he slipped to pick No. 27? Or
Rashard Lewis looking like a lost puppy in 1998 when he fell all the way to
the second round? The NBA has actually been trying to avoid those classic
made-for-TV moments.

So imagine the surprise when Jacobsen, considered a borderline first-round
pick by many, appeared on the list. Jacobsen may have dropped a clue that
he was an early first-rounder late last week when he canceled a workout with
the Jazz, who draft at No. 19.

Jacobsen joins top lottery prospects Jay Williams, Mike Dunleavy, Caron
Butler, Drew Gooden, Chris Wilcox, Dajuan Wagner, Jared Jeffries, Nikoloz
Tskitishivili, Nene Hilario, Qyntel Woods, Curtis Borchardt and Amare

Other top players such as Melvin Ely, Kareem Rush and Marcus Haislip were
also invited.

The fact that Jacobsen was invited ahead of several other top prospects,
including Bostjan Nacbar, Jiri Welsch and Dan Dickau, is a good sign that
Jacobsen will land somewhere between 14 and 18.

So where will he go?

Jacobsen did have a stellar workout in Indiana, which picks at No. 14. The
Rockets, Sixers and Hornets have been looking for a shooter at picks 15, 16,
and 17.

Chad Ford writes the daily NBA Insider column for ESPN Insider. To get a free 30-day trial, click here .