NBA Draft 2011: Top 5 Lock Picks

Jim MancariCorrespondent IMay 20, 2011

NBA Draft 2011: Top 5 Lock Picks

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    With close to a month remaining until this year’s NBA Draft, the first few picks are starting to take shape.

    While there really are no locks until the picks are officially made, the top five picks are usually pretty settled.

    This year should be no different, as the major prospects are beginning to fall into place.

    The Cleveland Cavaliers made big news by being awarded two of the first four picks. They’ll have a chance to significantly improve their roster with these picks.

    As of now, here are the locks for the top five picks.

5. Jan Vesely/Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto Raptors

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    The Toronto Raptors hold the fifth pick of the draft.

    Czech small forward Jan Vesely could be the best option available.

    The Raptors also have their sights set on Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas.

    Either way, Toronto looks like it will pick a talented international front court player.

    The team already has Andrea Bargnani at center, so taking the small forward Vesely may be the wiser option.

    Vesely could be a good energy man for the Raptors, who are in need of a jolt after a poor 2010-2011 season.

4. Enes Kanter, Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Though his attempt to play at Kentucky was denied, Enes Kanter will still be a high draft pick.

    The Turkish center would be a great option for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    The Cavs also have the first pick, so pairing Kanter with whomever the team selects at No. 1 could form the team’s core for years to come.

    He’s said to already have enough polish to be a starter, so he could be a lock at the No. 4 pick.

3. Brandon Knight, Utah Jazz

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    Brandon Knight enjoyed a successful freshman campaign at Kentucky, which has propelled him into the conversation as a top-five pick.

    Knight played point guard for the Wildcats, but his game translates well into an NBA shooting guard.

    He’s a great jump-shooter who can hit three-pointers.

    The Utah Jazz hold the third pick. While they have Devin Harris manning the point, Knight can be an instant contributor at shooting guard.

    Both Harris and Knight are high energy players, who would form an exciting backcourt in Utah.

2. Derrick Williams, Minnesota Timberwolves

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    Though the Minnesota Timberwolves lost out on the No. 1 overall pick, the team may still be able to draft the player they want.

    Arizona small forward Derrick Williams should be available at No. 2, and Minnesota has its eyes set on him.

    Williams can score in the paint and from the outside while also pulling down rebounds and playing good defense.

    He would join Kevin Love in forming a dynamic forward tandem. Williams should follow in Love’s footsteps in being a double-double machine.

1. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers

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    A strong point guard is the first step in rebuilding a team, and the Cleveland Cavaliers should have their guy.

    It seems like a lock that the Cavs will select Duke point guard Kyrie Irving with the No. 1 overall pick.

    Though Irving missed significant time due to injury, he was extremely productive when on the court.

    The Cavs have Baron Davis at point guard, but the team will likely explore trades for the expensive option.

    Irving and Enes Kanter can form the new nucleus of a team that will likely experience its growing pains before earning its way back to the playoffs.