Cavs draft: It seems increasingly likely Obi Toppin’s the pick

Dayton Flyers forward Obi Toppin celebrates after a made shot. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)
Dayton Flyers forward Obi Toppin celebrates after a made shot. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images) /

Obi Toppin on the Cleveland Cavaliers is seemingly a very good possibility.

It’s appeared for quite some time that Obi Toppin has been well-play for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2020 NBA Draft. Toppin is reportedly said to be viewed by some within the Cavs organization as a potential long-term replacement for Kevin Love.

Love’s long been a subject of trade rumors, and according to a report from Sean Deveney of, Cleveland is “eager to dump” him. That said, per a report from John Hollinger of The Athletic on a recent appearance on the NBA Big Board podcast with Chad Ford, formerly of ESPN, Hollinger doesn’t think there’s “any market” for Love out there at this point.

And per a report from’s Chris previously, Fedor stressed how the Cavs aren’t looking to just dump Love, and Fedor emphasized how the Cavaliers value Love in clearly such high regard.

All things considered, I frankly find it hard to imagine that Love is dealt at least until near the 2021 trade deadline, with his injury history and given how he’s due to make roughly $91.5 million over the next three seasons.

In any case, circling back to the draft, which is set to commence virtually on Wednesday, it’s evident that Cleveland could very well look to replace Love looking at the long-term, in which Love could feasibly be moved more so down the road, I’d think.

And that’s where the Toppin possibility appears all the more likely for the Cavs in the 2020 NBA Draft, and also weighing in that the to-be unrestricted free agent Tristan Thompson could maybe not be back.

It seems increasingly likely that Toppin is drafted by the Cavs.

Based on Toppin being mocked so frequently to the Cavaliers, it seems more and more likely that he’ll be the player Cleveland adds come Nov. 18.

That’s even more so with how The Athletic‘s Jason Lloyd reportedly stated (subscription required) on Friday how he gets the sense that Cleveland’s seemingly narrowed their draft choices down to Avdija and Toppin. But Lloyd also stressed how Cavs general manager Koby Altman, in particular, is really high on Toppin, which jumped out to me from that Lloyd report.

Now, what’s my general take for a Toppin add for the Cavaliers? I wouldn’t be a big fan of it, honestly, as the Cavaliers have placed last in the league in defensive rating the past two seasons, and defensive concerns are the biggest weakness/question mark regarding Toppin.

To me, the lateral quickness issues for Toppin/defensive IQ concerns are tough to look past, quite frankly. And though he get his share of hustle blocks in 2019-20 at Dayton, Toppin on the Cavs, feasibly onward, wouldn’t aid the Cavs team defense and/or pieces such as Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr. on that end.

The fact that Toppin is a late bloomer is one thing, but he’s already 22 and spending a very high pick on a player with notable defensive concerns still at that age wouldn’t be ideal for the Cavs, from my perspective.

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Larry Nance Jr. could potentially help Toppin in his defensive development, though. That’s at least from my viewpoint, assuming even while Nance has reportedly popped up in trade discussions around the NBA, per ESPN’s Zach Lowe, there hasn’t player been rumors/reports of the Cavs themselves wanting to deal him, so I’d imagine Nance sticks around.

Anyhow, I fully get that the Cavs would be drafting a polished player in Toppin offensively, who was the Naismith winner in Men’s College Basketball last season.

He had 20.0 points per outing on 63.3 percent shooting, and hit 39.0 percent of his 2.6 three-point attempts per game. Toppin could in time be a decent secondary playmaker, to some extent, for the Cavs, also.

Nonetheless, I’d personally much rather the Cavs go with Avdija or Isaac Okoro, with more playmaking potential game-to-game/and weighing the defensive end.

Plus, per a report from Fedor, while again Obi and Deni are seemingly the two most likely in the running for Cleveland, there’s still a chance Okoro’s the selection, among others, and I’d imagine Onyeka Okongwu, for one.

But with mocks being so consistent lately with Toppin going to the Cavs, of which I’d still expect to keep that selection, no matter my take, Toppin to the Cavaliers seems increasingly likely.

If that’s the case, the Cavs would be wise to strongly consider signing a quality reported defensive wing target such as Josh Jackson or a rumored restricted free agent target such as Wes Iwundu.

dark. Next. A Dylan Windler-Obi Toppin two-man game would be promising

We’ll ultimately see what happens with the Cavaliers come Wednesday, albeit Toppin would seem to be very well in-play.