Preliminary list of players invited to NBA Draft green room

By Eye on College Basketball staff | CBSSports.com

Nerlens Noel could be the first player leaving the Green Room Thursday.(USATSI)
Nerlens Noel could be the first player leaving the green room on Thursday. (USATSI)

With the 2013 NBA Draft on Thursday, players in the draft class are getting ready for the first step in their professional careers. Sixty players will hear their names called by either David Stern or Adam Silver, and many of them will get to walk up onto the stage and celebrate their selection into the NBA. But not everybody who gets to walk up on stage will be invited to the NBA Draft.

While all potential selections are welcome to attend, only 10 players will be invited this year to the "green room" for Thursday's proceedings. According to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, the 10 preliminary invitations have been made to players like Nerlens Noel of Kentucky, Alex Len of Maryland and Victor Oladipo of Indiana, among others.

The NBA has issued 10 preliminary invitations to its "green room" for Thursday night's draft, according to multiple sources.

Those invited are: Nerlens Noel (Kentucky); Victor Oladipo (Indiana); Otto Porter (Georgetown); Alex Len (Maryland); Anthony Bennett (UNLV); Ben McLemore (Kansas); Trey Burke (Michigan);Michael Carter-Williams (Syracuse); C.J. McCollum (Lehigh); and Cody Zeller (Indiana).

These guys all seem safe enough to be selected in the lottery, and the NBA generally likes to avoid situations like what happened to Rashard Lewis in 1998. He was in the green room and not selected until the third pick of the second round of the draft. Lewis spent an excruciating amount of time on camera that night as the Texas high schooler waited to have his name called. He was eventually drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics with the 32nd pick.

It seems highly unlikely that any of these guys would suffer a similar fate. The majority of them make up the top 10 on many draft boards, and there aren't too many projections that have them outside the lottery.

The draft will begin Thursday at 7 p.m. ET. The Cleveland Cavaliers have the first pick.

-- Zach Harper

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