Meyers Leonard invited to draft

Updated: June 25, 2012, 7:28 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

Former Illinois center Meyers Leonard has been invited to the NBA draft's green room at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on Thursday, Leonard's spokesperson confirmed on Monday.

The NBA usually invites players expected to be drafted among the top-15 selections.

Leonard, 7-foot-1, 250 pounds, entered this year's draft following his sophomore season at Illinois. He averaged 13.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks last season.

ESPN NBA draft analyst Chad Ford has projected Leonard to be selected No. 9 overall by the Detroit Pistons in his latest mock draft.

Leonard could be the first Illinois player to be drafted in the top 10 since Deron Williams was selected No. 3 overall by the Utah Jazz in 2005.

The NBA draft will be televised on ESPN and ESPN3.com beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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