The NBA is expected to release its list of invitees to Thursday’s draft later today. But one player who will definitely be in the so-called “green room” at Madison Square Garden in New York: UNC forward Tyler Hansbrough.
“He was planning to go up there either way, but when he got the call and invitation, he was pretty happy,’’ his father, Gene Hansbrough, said this morning.
Hansbrough, a four-time All-America, is expected to be picked somewhere in the teens of the first round. He planned to work out with the New Jersey Nets – who have the 11th overall pick – again on Tuesday.
“He could go as high as 11, and I don’t see him getting past Utah at 20,’’ NBA draft analyst Chris Monter said.
Davidson's Stephen Curry confirmed his green room invite last week. Duke guard Gerald Henderson is also expected to be on the list when it is released today; he said last week he’s already thinking about what suit he’s going to wear that night. UNC point guard Ty Lawson could also be invited.
Draft invitees sit front and center at Madison Square Garden Theatre in front of the commissioner, and when their names are called, they're brought up to the podium, given their new team's hat, and get a handshake and photo op.
Agents usually do their due diligence to try to make sure their clients will be fairly-early picks before they accept the invitation; otherwise, players risk sitting there for a long while -- in view of a lot of TV cameras.