Many NBA stars have found stardom coming out of non-traditional powerhouses. For example, look at Damian Lillard out of Weber State and Stephen Curry out of Davidson. This year’s draft can feature another, Obi Toppin out of Dayton.
Obi Toppin 2020 NBA Draft Profile
Toppin is a sophomore, but an older one at that being born in 1998. His first year at Dayton was quite impressive, and his jump to stardom could’ve been predicted.
He started less than half of the games he appeared in, but still managed to average 14.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. This came on a shooting percentage of nearly 67 percent.
His minutes per game jumped to over 31 as a sophomore, and Toppin made his giant leap. This season he averaged 20 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, to go along with a block and a steal. He shot 63 percent from the field and made a three-pointer a game at a shooting percentage of 39 percent.
Dayton was also a March Madness favorite before the tournament’s cancellation.
Toppin has NBA size. He’s already 22, and stands at 6’9″ and weighs in at 220 pounds. He shouldn’t have any issues with the physicality of the next level. This should also allow him to post-up on smaller and weaker defenders.
He’s also proven himself as a great college scorer. His play at the rim is fantastic, largely helped by his vertical pop and athleticism. In a modern game driven by athleticism, Toppin could thrive.
The potential is there for him to become a stretch-four. He’s developing as a shooter, he just must remember not to rush shots as he likely will not be the number one option on his team right out of the draft.
As previously stated, Toppin has great athleticism. For him to succeed, he needs to make this a larger role in his game as at times he’s seemed stiff. He can fly around the rim and needs to make himself a major vertical lob threat in the NBA.
Toppin also needs to improve in his rim-protecting ability. The traditional roles of big men in the league have shifted, but it still pays off to be able to stop opposing players from driving to the rim. Toppin has the size to do this and needs to make it his defensive calling. The potential is there to be an elite shot-blocker.
Defensive footwork is another concern and could keep Toppin from also featuring as a small-forward. The NBA is filled with elite scorers at the three, and Toppin may not have what it takes to keep up.
Obi Toppin NBA comparison and draft projection
The eye test shows that Toppin can be compared to former NBA great Amar’e Stoudemire. The comparison is premature, of course, but the physical tools are all there.
As for his draft projection, Toppin is certainly a top-10 pick and may even have what it takes to emerge as a top-five candidate. He’s in the elite tier of big men on the board alongside James Wiseman and Onyeka Okongwu and will hear his name called very early.
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