Obi Toppin is becoming a name more and more people are talking about as March Madness ramps up, and the Cleveland Cavaliers should be paying attention.
Obi Toppin is becoming a house-hold name at Dayton, just in time for the March Madness tournament. The yearly tournament sees stars rise and become legends as teams streak through into April. Players rocket up draft boards because of March Madness and become an NBA team’s next great hope. For Toppin, that may mean being the next great hope for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Toppin has lead Dayton to a tremendous record, going 29-2 across the year. Their only two losses came during early-season tournament play that saw them go into overtime in both defeats. They’re on a 20-game winning streak as of this writing, and that’s in part to Toppin’s stellar performance.
Toppin is averaging 20.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.2. assists a game. Pretty impressive numbers for a guy who was once considered a zero-star recruit. A growth spurt, good athleticism, and highlight-reel dunks has turned this once unwanted prospect into a lottery selection in waiting for the 2020 NBA Draft.
His skillset and his in-state relation are just two reasons why the Cavs may want him. He’s a player of need, potentially, for the next season. With Kevin Love and Andre Drummond all but expected back, and Tristan Thompson’s future in the air, Toppin could provide a much need punch of physicality off the bench. He could play small forward next to Kevin Love and Drummon in bigger lineups, or at power forward when Love is at center or on the bench.
Toppin’s run is not all that dissimilar to that of former and fellow-Ohio collegiate great, Kenyan Martin. Martin lead the Cinncinati Bearcats to the 2000 NCAA tournament but due to an injury in the Conference USA Tournament ended up missing the big dance and the team lost in the second round. Despite that, Martin was still the first overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft. The style comparisons between Toppin and Martin are layered and deep. Martin was a heck of a player for a while in the NBA, and if Toppin can be that, or even better, Toppin would be a huge addition to the team. Even if not a franchise redefining star.
If the Cavs aren’t looking for another guard (Hey, Nico Mannion) then Toppin is the way to go.