Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Draft 2020 Prospect Profile: Obi Toppin

Obi Toppin of the Dayton Flyers. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Obi Toppin of the Dayton Flyers. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Obi Toppin
Obi Toppin of the Dayton Flyers. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves don’t have a “power forward of the future” to pair with Karl-Anthony Towns. Could Obi Toppin be that player?

Many of the top prospects in the 2020 NBA Draft don’t fit the Minnesota Timberwolves’ offensive scheme perfectly.

LaMelo Ball, Killian Hayes, and Tyrese Haliburton all overlap significantly with what incumbent point guard D’Angelo Russell brings to the table. James Wiseman is a 7-footer with a similar but much-less-polished skill set to Karl-Anthony Towns. Anthony Edwards is eerily similar to Andrew Wiggins, and we all know how that turned out.

Obi Toppin, on the other hand, is a dynamic, offensively-gifted big man with the versatility and playmaking ability of a modern-day NBA big man.

The Wolves currently only have Juan Hernangomez, who is a restricted free agent, and James Johnson, the owner of a $16 million expiring contract, penciled in at the 4. Otherwise, the Wolves are down to small-ball options like Jake Layman or Kelan Martin to run alongside Towns.

While Gersson Rosas is unlikely to reach for Toppin with the No. 1 overall pick, he could be an ideal candidate in a trade back towards the latter half of the top 10 selections.

Obi Toppin NBA Draft 2020 Prospect Profile: Strengths

All of Toppin’s strengths fall on the offensive side of the ball, where he doesn’t have much in the way of holes.

He has solid size, standing 6-foot-9 with a 6-foot-11 wingspan. He has well-above-average athleticism and displays that gift frequently with high-flying dunks and acrobatic plays on lob passes and opportunities in transition.

Toppin is most dynamic in the pick-and-roll, which would make him a perfect pairing with Russell and a fantastic complement to Towns. He has the feel, size, and athleticism to roll to the rim and score in the paint and the shooting ability to pop outside the arc and hit 3-pointers.

He shot 39 percent from long-range for Dayton this year and hit on 41.7 percent of his 3-point attempts during his collegiate career. Toppin also has solid touch in his in-between game and in around the rim to go with his physical gifts.

Playmaking is a secondary skill that Toppin utilized a bit in college with a lack of true talent around him, but he clearly has the feel and passing ability to distribute the ball, and especially in transition. Toppin will be best utilized as a 4 at the NBA level, but he handles the ball more like a wing and would bring a dynamic element to the Wolves offense.

There really aren’t any major downfalls to Toppin’s offensive game, and his well-rounded ability and athleticism would be a seamless fit into head coach Ryan Saunders’ offense.