With the 2016 NBA Draft less than a week away, scheduled for June 23 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, the NBA released a list of 19 players invited to sit in the green room for the event. Among those invited are former LSU forward Ben Simmons and former Duke forward Brandon Ingram, with both in the running to be the top overall pick in the draft.
The Philadelphia 76ers, who posted a league-worst record of 10-72 this season, have the rights to the first overall pick. The last time the franchise picked first overall was 20 years ago, when they selected Georgetown’s Allen Iverson.
Will their choice this time around be Simmons, who posted gaudy individual numbers while playing for a disappointing team in his lone season at LSU? Or will it be Ingram, the slender small forward who won ACC Rookie of the Year honors and helped lead Duke to the Sweet 16?
Of the 19 players invited 17 played college basketball last season, with French guard Timothe Luwawu and Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Dragan Bender (a native of Croatia) being the exceptions. Ten of the invited prospects left college after their freshman season, with Simmons and Ingram being joined by the likes of Marquette forward Henry Ellenson and California forward Jaylen Brown.
And three programs, Kentucky, Michigan State and Washington, can claim multiple invitees to the green room. Kentucky’s tandem of Jamal Murray and Skal Labissiere will be in attendance, with Deyonta Davis and Denzel Valentine representing Michigan State and Washington’s Marquese Chriss and Dejounte Murray receiving invites as well.
Below is the list of players invited to the Green Room, listed in alphabetical order by last name.
Guard Wade Baldwin IV, Vanderbilt
Guard Malik Beasley, Florida State
Forward Dragan Bender, Maccabi Tel Aviv
Forward Jaylen Brown, California
Forward Marquese Chriss, Washington
Forward Deyonta Davis, Michigan State
Guard Kris Dunn, Providence
Forward Henry Ellenson, Marquette
Guard Buddy Hield, Oklahoma
Forward Brandon Ingram, Duke
Forward Skal Labissiere, Kentucky
Guard Timothe Luwawu (France)
Guard Dejounte Murray, Washington
Guard Jamal Murray, Kentucky
Center Jakob Poeltl, Utah
Guard Malachi Richardson, Syracuse
Forward Domantas Sabonis, Gonzaga
Forward Ben Simmons, LSU
Guard Denzel Valentine, Michigan State