Aaron Doster / Associated Press
Obi Toppin is a unique perspective compared to the rest of the 2020 NBA draft.
First, the striker is a few years older than most of the other planned lottery choices, including Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman and LaMelo Ball.
Secondly, Toppin is also stepping out of a successful campaign for one of the college’s most successful men’s basketball teams. Edwards and others achieved individual success, but fought to make an impact on the team’s record.
The odds are high for Edwards, Wiseman and Ball to land in the top three in a certain order, but Toppin could ruin it if a team decides to bring a more experienced perspective.
Draft of the first round of 2020 NBA
1. Golden State Warriors: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia
2. Cleveland Cavaliers: James Wiseman, C, Memphis
3. Minnesota Timberwolves: LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks
4. Atlanta Hawks: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton
5. Detroit slippers: Deni Avdija, SF, Maccabi Tel Aviv
6. New York Knicks: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, State of Iowa
7. Chicago Bulls: Onyeka Okongwu, PF / C, USC
8. Charlotte Hornets: Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn
9. Washington Wizards: Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm
10. Phoenix Suns: Devin Vassell, SG / SF, State of Florida
11. San Antonio Spurs: Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina
12. Sacramento Kings: Saddiq Bey, SF, Villanova
13. Pelicans of New Orleans: Patrick Williams, PF, State of Florida
14. Portland Trail Jackets: RJ Hampton switches, SG, New Zealand
15. Orlando Magic: Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt
16. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Brooklyn): Tyrese Maxey, PG, Kentucky
17. Boston Celtics (from Memphis): Precious Achiuwa, PF / C, Memphis
18. Dallas Mavericks: Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama
19. Milwaukee Bucks (from Indiana): Jahmi’us Ramsey, SG, Texas Tech
20. Brooklyn Nets (from Philadelphia): Tyrell Terry, SG, Stanford
21. Denver Nuggets (from Houston): Josh Green, SG, Arizona
22. Philadelphia 76ers (from Oklahoma City): Jaden McDaniels, SF, Washington
23. Miami Heat: Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona
24. Utah Jazz: Theo Maledon, PG, ASVEL
25. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Denver): Three Jones, PG, Duke
26. Boston Celtics: Isaiah Stewart, PF, Washington
27. New York Knicks (from Los Angeles Clippers): Jalen Smith, PF, Maryland
28. Toronto Raptors: Paul Reed, PF, DePaul
29. Los Angeles Lakers: Devon Dotson, PG, Kansas
30. Boston Celtics (from Milwaukee): Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Olympiacos B
Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton
Toppin was the prospect that benefited most from the college basketball season.
Edwards and Georgia fought for consistency, and Wiseman lasted three games before being handed over a suspension in Memphis and subsequently left to prepare for the project.
Toppin averaged 20 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 blocks during Dayton’s unbeaten race across the Atlantic 10.
If the NCAA men’s basketball tournament had gone on as scheduled, Toppin could have further increased his actions if the Flyers had gone on for a long time.
Although he has a lot to offer offensively, Toppin still has questions about his defense, as Jonathan Wasserman of the Bleacher Report noted.
“There is a general consensus between scouts and evaluators that Obi Toppin will be a productive NBA professional,” said Wasserman. “The debate focuses on how much his defensive limitations will neutralize his score in assessing his worth.”
Defensive concerns led to some low projections for Toppin. The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie makes him land at no. 8, while Kyle Boone of CBS Sports positions the attacker at no. 9, which called Toppin floor.
If a team like Atlanta or Detroit thinks it can improve Toppin’s defensive skills, it would be worth taking him to the top five because of his acumen in scoring.
In Atlanta, Toppin may provide additional support for Trae Young’s scoring. If he fell to the Pistons, he would have had time to play behind Blake Griffin and Christian Wood, or Detroit could have slipped him on the wing in physical training.
Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia
It’s hard to think that Edwards will come out of the top two or three, no matter which team lands there in the lottery.
Wasserman classifies the Georgia freshman as his prospect number 4, Vecenie expects the shooting guard to be the number 1 choice and Boone placed him at number 2 in his latest draft.
“Edwards remains what I would call the closest thing to a consensus guy in this draft for NBA evaluators,” wrote Vecenie. “I haven’t talked to a team that doesn’t see him in the top five potential customers, and many consider him in the top three potential.”
Although Edwards did not strengthen Georgia’s SEC status, he produced many extraordinary individual performances in his lonely college season.
Edwards has played 13 games with 20 or more points and has scored at least 14 points in the last six games of the regular season. He averaged 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game while he fired 40.2 percent from the field.
Golden State would be the ideal landing point for Edwards to hone his shooting skills behind Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins.
Cleveland and Minnesota may also be solid for the Georgia product. In both situations, he could take advantage of the ball from the play by the playmaker of Collin Sexton and D’Angelo Russell.
Edwards would also fit well in Atlanta or Detroit, which would likely look away from Ball or Wiseman, respectively, if they jumped into the top three based on their current depth cards guarding the point and center.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @ JTansey90
Statistics obtained from ESPN.com