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NBA Draft 2011: Making the Case for Chris Singleton as a Top-5 Pick

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 25:  Chris Singleton #31 of the Florida State Seminoles reacts during the southwest regional of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams at the Alamodome on March 25, 2011 in San Antonio, Texas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Max MinskerCorrespondent IJune 14, 2011

Right now, Chris Singleton is shaping up to be a pretty interesting prospect in this year's draft.

At the end of the college season, Singleton was considered to be a mid-to-late first-round pick. He was a top-25 guy, but no one was really thinking about him as a lottery pick. 

Shortly after, players started withdrawing from the draft. Many potential lottery picks decided to return to school leaving the door wide open for other players to move up in a weak draft. 

Until recently, Singleton was considered a mid first-rounder by most, but in just the past few weeks, Singleton's stock has skyrocketed. He is now being looked at in the lottery and even the top 10.

While his rise has been a dramatic one, I believe there is no reason he can't go higher. Even as high as the top five.

Now, Singleton is not better than Derrick Williams, Kyrie Irving or Enes Kanter, but after that, it's not that far out of his current range.

Brandon Knight was pretty good in the tournament, but he was streaky and inconsistent the entire season. Knight is a good prospect, but Singleton is very good too.

Chris Singleton brings a lot to the table as an NBA prospect. He is 6'9'', 230 pounds and has a 7'1'' wingspan. Because he's so big but still quick, he can guard four positions on the floor. He is highly regarded as the best perimeter defender in this class, but he can defend the post too. 

Singleton is also a solid rebounder and has a developing offensive game. He never really reached his offensive potential at Florida State, but with NBA-caliber talent around him he should develop more quickly. He is a solid shooter from both mid-range and beyond the arc.

He has the raw talent, it just needs to be handled correctly.

It's hard to imagine Singleton is going to put down 20 a game next season, but it's not out of his reach at some point down the road. 

The reason Singleton should be considered as early as the fifth pick is his versatility. Singleton might not be the best scorer left, or even one of them, but he will be a solid contributor.

It would be surprising if Singleton failed. His defined skill set as a defensive stopper is transferable. If he doesn't turn out offensively, he will be something along the lines of a better version of Tony Allen. 

While Chris Singleton has drawn a few Gerald Wallace comparisons, I believe he is more of a Ron Artest. He can get you 15 and five, while making a couple threes and shutting down the opposing team's best player. 

His athletic testing and measurables are unbelievable and played pretty well this season at FSU. In a very weak draft, a sure thing like Singleton may be a solid selection with the fifth pick. He won't be a superstar, but he will be a starter, and in this draft, that may be worth a top-five pick. 

The other options at No. 5 are probably Kemba Walker, Jan Vesely and Kawhi Leonard, all of whom have their issues.

Kemba is too small and isn't a pure point guard. Vesely has been labeled as soft, and foreign players are always a question mark. Kawhi Leonard is a tweener who really hurt his stock during athletic testing. 

In this class, there are many questions surrounding prospects at the top. There isn't a clear cut top five, so I see no reason why Singleton can't make a run for a spot.

He will allow whichever team drafts him to go with many different looks and add a guy that can guard the other teams best player. You need a lock down defender to win a title, and Singleton could be another piece of the puzzle for a team looking to rebuild. 

Follow me on twitter @MaxMinsker

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