Latest draft buzz: The top five picks ...

June, 22, 2011
6/22/11
5:28
PM ET
Ford By Chad Ford
ESPN.com
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We're getting ready to put together Mock Draft 7.0 for Thursday.

I've been on the phone all day and here's a sneak preview of where we think it's heading at the top of the draft, as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.

1. We still have the Cavs taking Kyrie Irving at No. 1. While they haven't said anything definitively, most signs still point in that direction.

2. The Wolves continue to debate between Derrick Williams and Enes Kanter at No. 2. However, it appears that Williams still holds a slight edge there despite the fact that the Wolves are beginning to tell teams they're taking Kanter. While I do think the Wolves are strongly considering Kanter, I think the fact that the news has gone public is an attempt by Minnesota to see if Kanter generates more trade interest than Derrick Williams did.

3. The Jazz remain silent about their decision at No. 3. But for the first time in a week, signals are starting to emerge that Kanter might be the pick here -- if the Wolves don't take him.

The Jazz are facing a classic dilemma. They think Kanter would be the best prospect available but feel a greater need at the point guard position. However, it appears the Jazz may go ahead and draft talent over need and hope they can land a point guard, like Jimmer Fredette, at No. 12. If the Wolves take Kanter at No. 2, then the Jazz would snatch up Williams at No. 3.

4. If Kanter is off the board, the Cavs will have to choose between taking Jonas Valanciunas and Texas forward Tristan Thompson. I think they are actually leaning toward Thompson. The Cavs love Valanciunas, but have concerns about his inability to play in the NBA next season. Those concerns would dissipate if they trade down, but at No. 4 they are hesitant to take him.

Sources say the Cavs brought Thompson back for a second workout on Monday along with Williams, Kanter and Brandon Knight. Thompson met with owner Dan Gilbert and, from what I can gather, there's a growing comfort level with Thompson at No. 4. That should come as some vindication for our own John Hollinger. On Monday, Hollinger's Draft Rater pegged Thompson as the third-best prospect in the draft.

5. At No. 5, the Raptors will have a choice between Knight, Kawhi Leonard and Bismack Biyombo. Despite the recent push to improve their defense, I doubt they let a talent like Knight slip past them at 5.

Check back on Thursday morning for the full Mock Draft 7.0.

To see dozens of NBA rumors, check out NBA Rumor Central Insider

Chad Ford

Senior Writer, NBA Insider

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