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 Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Obi Toppin NBA Draft 2020 Prospect Profile: Fit with Timberwolves

For the Wolves to end up with Obi Toppin, it’ll have to be part of a trade-back. They won’t take him at No. 1 and there’s almost no chance he’d slide all the way to No. 17.

That said, if he ended up in Minnesota, he’d be an absolute dream fit on offense next to Karl-Anthony Towns.

The popular “ceiling comparison” for Toppin is Amar’e Stoudemire. It’s easy to see why, but for a current example, think of Toppin’s offensive game as a better-shooting version of Aaron Gordon. Of course, Gordon is much better defensively, but the offensive games aren’t all too dissimilar.

Imagine a Wolves offense led by D’Angelo Russell with the ability to run screen-and-rolls to either side of the court, with either big man. Then, pretend that at least one of the other two spots on the floor was filled by an above-average shooter — think, Jae Crowder via free agency. Maybe, just maybe, Malik Beasley is back, too.

Russell, Beasley, Crowder, Toppin, and Towns is a nearly unstoppable offensive unit. Perhaps Jarrett Culver develops as a secondary creator and earns minutes with the first team, and Josh Okogie is the energy guy off the bench. One or both of Hernangomez and Johnson would still be on the team, and suddenly, the Wolves have a legitimately potent rotation.

Defensively, Toppin also fits with what the Wolves have. And that isn’t a good thing.

If the Wolves were to pick the former Dayton Flyer, they’d be knowingly going all-in on scoring 120-plus points per game and would essentially be punting on defense. The ceiling of a team like that certainly profiles as a playoff contender, but would likely be in trouble in a short series.

It’s also important to note that Gersson Rosas has shown little interest in acquiring a true power forward to put next to Towns and has instead preferred to find big, switchable wins to fill out the frontcourt. That, combined with Toppin’s projected draft range of No. 4 through No. 11 or 12 suggests that it’s unlikely he ends up in Minnesota.

Next. Wolves Draft Prospect Profile: Devin Vassell. dark

Still, isn’t it fun to imagine a Wolves lineup with both Toppin and Towns screening for Russell? Good times, indeed.