Obi Toppin went to Maui and caught everyone’s eye.
In between Mai Tai’s, scouts were witness to Toppin’s threes and powerful dunks as he put up 25 on Georgia, 24 on Virginia Tech, and helped Dayton push Kansas to overtime. That week in Hawaii put Toppin and Dayton on the map.
Expected to be a top-10 pick, Toppin has made the official expected and he is entering the NBA Draft.
Toppin is in the running for the Naismith College Player of the Year after a season averaging 20 points and 7.5 rebounds a game (with defenses loaded up on him), he shot 39 percent from three and had a 32.5 PER. Plus, the man might need to go straight into next year’s Dunk Contest.
A 6’9″ forward, it’s the versatility of Toppin’s game — and his high ceiling — that intrigues teams. After setting a pick he can pop out and hit a three or roll hard to the rim and finish. Switch a smaller guy onto him and Toppin will eat him alive down low. He’s a beast in transition. The real questions are how good Toppin can be defensively, that was not his strong end of the court and he will be asked to do a lot more at the next level. While he’s going to have to adapt his game to being a four in the NBA (he was basically a five at Dayton), he could make an impact right away and eventually develop into a Kyle Kuzma or, on the very high end, Victor Oladipo kind of player.
Exactly where he falls in this draft is hard to predict because the draft process has been jacked up by the coronavirus and forced hiatus. There’s not expected to be an NBA combine or even face-to-face interviews — hello Skype — plus no team workouts. That’s not even getting into the fact nobody knows when the draft itself will take place.
Toppin, however, as a top-10 pick, is smart to make his move and come out now.