- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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Former Ohio State star and two-time all-American Jared Sullinger will watch the NBA draft inside a Columbus restaurant, not in the green room in Newark's Prudential Center, after the NBA declined to invite him to Thursday's draft.
NBA executive vice president Stu Jackson told ESPN.com that Sullinger would not be invited based on the reports the league had received that Sullinger wouldn't be selected in the top 15.
"He's more likely to go in the teens or in the 20s," Jackson said. "We continue to have contact with teams, but at this late date we don't anticipate inviting him."
ESPN.com's Chad Ford reported last week that Sullinger's medical reports were flagged by a number of teams after the Chicago predraft camp because of a back issue. But Satch Sullinger, Jared's father and high school coach in Columbus, refuted it, saying that his son had muscle issues and not a disk problem. Sullinger dealt with back spasms last December, forcing him to miss a road game at Kansas, but he was well enough to lead the Buckeyes to the Final Four.
Satch Sullinger said Monday that the family isn't anticipating an invitation and will host a party at a Columbus restaurant instead.
"We haven't been invited, so we're not going to go," he said.
Jackson said the official green-room list of projected lottery players will be released Tuesday. The players must be notified by late Monday since they have to be in New York by Tuesday night.
Jared Sullinger worked out Monday for Detroit, which picks ninth.
"I know we haven't been invited and so we're not going to go," Satch Sullinger said. "Unless (Pistons GM) Joe Dumars said they like him at No. 9, we're not going to go."
Satch Sullinger said his son has worked out for New Orleans (for its No. 10 pick), Portland (for No. 11), Golden State (for No. 7, though the Warriors also have No. 30) and Toronto (No. 8) before Monday's workout with the Pistons.
Satch Sullinger said his son canceled a workout in Cleveland last week since the family didn't see how he could be taken at No. 4.
His father also said his son's agent, David Falk, is working diligently behind the scenes to ease any issues about Jared's back.
Satch Sullinger said Jared won't get discouraged that he won't have the symbolic handshake with the commissioner at the draft.
"He wants the opportunity to play," Satch Sullinger said. "He knows he'll play in the NBA. All it does is give him motivation. This just keeps him hungry and he'll earn it. It's a business. He's going to play in the NBA, whatever number he goes doesn't matter. He's going to be like a top five pick in the NBA."
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