After leading Dayton to a 29-2 record and potentially taking home the Wooden Award, which recognizes the best player in college basketball, Obi Toppin’s draft stock is sky-high. Standing at 6’9″ and 220 pounds, the Brooklyn native is my favorite player in the draft. Even though I don’t think he should win the Wooden Award, (Luka Garza was the by far best player in the country), I hope the Cavaliers draft him if they get the second pick in the lottery.
Toppin was definitely not projected to even make the NBA out of high school, as he was an unranked prospect when he signed with Dayton. However, this year, Toppin became can’t miss basketball. His high flying dunks and ability to take over a game made him a consensus top-five player in this upcoming draft.
Strengths: 20 PTS/ 7.5 REB/ 2.2 AST
- Very athletic, can catch and finish any alley-oop thrown his way
- Long arms (no wingspan listed) and uses them to disrupt passing lanes
- Can play both small forward and power forward but excels at the 4
- Very efficient scorer
- Needs work on his form but shot very solid numbers from three, especially in the catch and shoot game from the corner spots where he netted 62.5% of his looks (only 32% in the other three shooting locations)
- Solid passer for a post player
- Very strong and will move smaller players in the post
- Quick first step in the post, used it to burn slower defenders
- His form needs to be tweaked: his feet are too close together, he releases the ball with both of his elbows slightly out, and his shot stops twice with two separate hitches
- Is not a good defender moving side to side, slow feet
- Doesn’t make many hustle plays
There are not many weaknesses in Toppin’s game. It didn’t matter the competition, he knew he was the best player on the floor. I believe he’ll be an instant plus to whatever team he ends up on. If Toppin reaches his highest potential he could be very similar to a Blake Griffin, an athletic stretch four who excels in the PnR. Worst case scenario, he becomes a player similar to an older Paul Millsap, which isn’t that bad.
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Featured Image: Bozeman Daily Chronicle