Who's waiting in the Green Room? Here are the prospects NBA invited to the draft

Who's waiting in the Green Room? Here are the prospects NBA invited to the draft

BOSTON – The NBA’s list of Green Room invitees to the draft Thursday night offers no surprises really. If you look at most mock drafts, you’ll find all 20 of these guys slotted somewhere among the top 25 or so picks.
The only name not on the list that’s a bit of a surprise is Duke’s Harry Giles, a player who stands as one of the biggest mysteries in the draft. He reportedly declined an invite.
Regarded as one of the nation’s top high school prospects a year ago despite multiple knee injuries, Giles did little in his freshman year to dispel those images of him being damaged goods.
I still think Giles’ upside will be enough for a team to roll the dice on selecting him in the first round.
But considering how closely wound players are in this year’s draft, Giles did the right thing in turning down his invitation to be in the Green Room with so much uncertainty surrounding where he might be drafted.
The NBA hates those images of players in the Green Room spending way more time there than anyone anticipated.
At one point in his lone season at Kentucky, Skal Labiesserie was thought of as potentially being the top overall pick.
But last year on draft night, he slid down to the 28th overall selection.
Despite going later than expected, he wasn’t the last player selected from the Green Room.
That was Michigan State’s Deyonta Davis, who was selected by Boston with the first pick of the second round (31st overall), and immediately traded to Memphis. Two picks before he was gone, another Green Room invitee Dejounte Murray was selected.
Murray would have surely liked to have gone earlier in the draft, but the team that selected him was the Golden State Warriors.
And while he didn’t play a ton, he did show some potential as part of a Warriors team that won the franchise’s second NBA title in three years.
So while some players may spend a little more time in the Green Room than anticipated, one thing is clear.
If you make the Green Room list, you can rest assured that your name will be called at some point, making official what so many of these young men have been desiring for years – to be drafted into the NBA.
Here’s a list of the 20 players who accepted invitations to the Green Room:
Bam Adebayo (Kentucky)
Jarrett Allen (Texas)
O.G. Anunoby (Indiana)
Lonzo Ball (UCLA)
John Collins (Wake Forest)
Zach Collins (Gonzaga)
De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky)
Markelle Fultz (Washington)
Jonathan Isaac (Florida State)
Josh Jackson (Kansas)
Justin Jackson (North Carolina)
Luke Kennard (Duke)
T.J. Leaf (UCLA)
Lauri Markkanen (Arizona)
Donovan Mitchell (Louisville)
Malik Monk (Kentucky)
Frank Ntilikina (France)
Justin Patton (Creighton)
Dennis Smith (N.C. State)
Jayson Tatum (Duke)

Ainge: 'Setback' wrong word to use about Hayward

Ainge: 'Setback' wrong word to use about Hayward

When is a setback not a setback?

When Danny Ainge says, "You know what? Sometimes I talk too much," Ainge told the Boston Herald over the weekend. "'Setback' wasn't the right word, so let me rephrase that because it's not exactly true to say it - or say it that way.

The Celtics president of basketball operations, in his weekly radio interview with Toucher and Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub and simulcast on NBC Sports Boston, used that word when he was describing how Gordon Hayward is coming along in his recovery. 

"He had like one setback for a couple of weeks, maybe a month and a half ago," Ainge said on the radio last week. "We were progressing a little bit too fast, we thought."

Ainge clarified that to the Herald's Steve Bulpett. 

"What happened is he went on the AlterG [anti-gravity treadmill] the first day and he felt some soreness," he said. "It was the first day he tried the AlterG, a long time ago. He just wasn't ready for it at that point. That's all it was."

Celtics coach Brad Stevens has been adamant that Hayward, recovering from his gruesome leg and ankle injury in the season opener, will not play for the Celtics this season. On Sunday, Stevens, via MassLive.com's Jay King, characterized Stevens' soreness as a "small" issue. 



Chest pains and lack of sleep lead to medical leave for Cavs coach Lue

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Chest pains and lack of sleep lead to medical leave for Cavs coach Lue

CLEVELAND - Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue is taking a leave of absence from the team to address health issues that have included chest pains and loss of sleep.

Lue said Monday in a statement that tests have offered no conclusion about what the issue is and offered no timetable for his return. The coach said he feels he needs to step away "and focus on trying to establish a stronger and healthier foundation" from which to coach the rest of the season.

Here's a portion of Lue's statement:

I have had chest pains and other troubling symptoms, compounded by a loss of sleep, throughout the year. Despite a battery of tests, there have been no conclusions as to what the exact issue is.

"While I have tried to work through it, the last thing I want is for it to affect the team. I am going to use this time to focus on a prescribed routine and medication, which has previously been difficult to start in the midst of a season," Lue said. "My goal is to come out of it a stronger and healthier version of myself so I can continue to lead this team to the championship we are all working towards."

A stress-filled season for the Cavs has taken a toll on the Lue, 40, a former Celtics assistant under Doc Rivers who led them to the 2016 NBA championship after taking over for David Blatt midway through that season. They are j40-29, third in the Eastern Conference, behind the second-place Celtics and East-leading Toronto Raptors, and have endured roster shake-ups, injuries and other distractions as they try to return to the NBA Finals.

David Aldridge of TNT reports that the plan is for Lue to return in a week. The NBA playoffs begin April 14. 

"We all want great players, we all want the best teams, but with that comes a lot of pressure as well. And what Ty Lue has had to go through this year with that team, with the trades and the injuries and the pressure, it's unrelenting," Denver coach Michael Malone said. "So I hope that he gets healthy and is able to get back in time for the playoffs and help that team win as many games as possible."

Lue spent the second half of Cleveland's victory in Chicago on Saturday in the locker room because of an illness, the second time this season he left a game because he wasn't feeling well. The former NBA guard also sat one out against Chicago at home in December.

Associate head coach Larry Drew coached the second half of Saturday's game, the finale of a six-game, 11-day road trip. Cleveland is back home to host Milwaukee on Monday.

"We know how difficult these circumstances are for Coach Lue and we support him totally in this focused approach to addressing his health issues," general manager Koby Altman said.

Charlotte coach Steve Clifford also left his team to address his health this season. He took six weeks off. Medical tests revealed that the 56-year-old Clifford did not have any internal problems, but the doctor's diagnosis was the coach was suffering from severe sleep deprivation.

AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds contributed to this report.

© 2018 by The Associated Press