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NBA Draft: Breaking Down the Hottest Names Heading into Thursday

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NBA Draft: Breaking Down the Hottest Names Heading into Thursday
USA TODAY Sports

It happens pretty regularly this time of year. A few players get hot throughout the draft process and skyrocket up the list of big boards and mock drafts everywhere. It never fails.

This year, the prospects flying up the boards have had some help from players who once occupied the top spots.

Foot injuries to Kansas center Joel Embiid and Kentucky forward Julius Randle have created some room in the top 10, but there's more. According to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, one of the best international players in this draft, Dario Saric, may see his stock fall as well after signing a deal overseas:

Croatia forward and 2014 NBA draft prospect Dario Saric has agreed in principle to a three-year deal with Turkish powerhouse Anadolu Efes, a source close to Saric told ESPN.com on Monday.

The deal will have a player option for the third year. Saric is expected to receive and sign a contract in the next 24 hours.

The move will essentially prohibit Saric from playing in the NBA for a minimum of two years, the source added.

That's a lot of question marks near the top, which makes this year's draft start to feel a little like last season's. Of course, the depth of this class seems to be much better, which we're seeing as a few players have jumped up draft boards and have inspired plenty of speculation as draft day approaches.

Here are five of the hottest names heading into the draft.

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