The 2011 NBA Draft promises to be a unique one as it moves to the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, but more importantly because a potential lockout looms over the ensuing 2011-12 NBA season.
Consequently, if little progress on a new collective bargaining agreement is made between the league owners and the players' association by draft time, then many of college basketball's best underclassmen, as well as some of the world's most promising young international players, may elect to refrain from entering their names into the draft.
And combining this possibility with the 2011's already-weak player projections, it seems as though the draft may end up being relatively insignificant.
Moreover, the draft may be further weakened by the fact that a number of the highly sought-after prospects have underperformed thus far, resulting in their draft stocks plummeting.
However, thus far in the 2010-11 NCAA basketball season, there have also been a handful of players whose performances have vastly exceeded their previous expectations.
So, as long as a lockout is avoided and talented players still decide to enter the draft, look for these rising NBA prospects to help lead the 2011 draft class in shattering their low expectations and making the draft relevant.