NBA Draft Bio: Obi Toppin

Road to the Draft

Obi Toppin, from Brooklyn, NY has taken an odd route to the NBA Draft. Going un-recruited out of high school, he spent one year at Mt. Zion Prep in Baltimore before red-shirting the 2017-18 season at Dayton. After a good Freshman year, which created buzz about entering last year's draft, he opted to stay behind - and it turned out to be a great decision. He filled up the stat sheet, led the NCAA in dunks, and shot 39% from 3. He was regarded as the most valuable player in college basketball last year and earned the following awards:

  • 2019-20 National Player of the Year honors from the AP, NABC, USBWA, Wooden Award, Oscar Robertson Award and Naismith Trophy
  • Unanimous 2019-20 All-America First Team selection
  • 2019-20 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year
  • 2019-20 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and All-Atlantic 10 First Team pick


At 6’9”, 220 lbs., Toppin combines size with excellent leaping ability. He runs the floor hard, and is an alley-oop threat in transition, and can finish at the basket out of the pick-and-roll. His shooting mechanics are solid – he has a good mid-range game and has shown that he can step out and shoot the 3. On the defensive end, he has good shot-blocking skills, and can step out and guard smaller players on the perimeter. As one of the older prospects in the draft, he has developed a good basketball IQ, allowing him to make good passes when he is doubled. Check out his underrated passing skills below... 


At 22 years old, Toppin is mostly a finished product – what we see is what we’re going to get. Despite his athleticism, he doesn’t move too well laterally when switched onto guards on the perimeter, and can be pushed off the block when guarding opponents of equal size and stature. He’s also just an average rebounder for his size.

Overall Outlook

Some view Toppin as the most NBA-ready player, perhaps even bust-proof. Due to his age, NBA know what they are getting from the Dayton alumni. With a body built like Amar'e Stoudemire, and the shooting ability of Al Horford, look for Toppin to have a long and productive NBA career. 

Photo Credit: Mingo Nesmith/Icon Sportswire