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Blazer’s Edge NBA Draft Big Board: The Value of Toppin’s Experience

Steve Dewald delivers his updated 25-player NBA Draft Big Board and focuses on how Obi Toppin’s experience should not be overlooked.

NCAA Basketball: Davidson at Dayton David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 NBA Draft is set for October 16 and Blazer’s Edge is committed to producing an abundance of prospect-driven content prior to that date. In today’s post, Steve Dewald reveals his expanded board of 25 prospects. Following the rankings, Dayton star Obi Toppin and his unique experience receives a closer look.

Steve’s Big Board 2.0

Player Position School/Country
Player Position School/Country
1.) Anthony Edwards G Georgia
2.) James Wiseman C Memphis
3.) Tyrese Haliburton PG Iowa State
4.) LaMelo Ball G USA
5.) Onyeka Okongwu F/C USC
6.) Killian Hayes PG France
7.) Obi Toppin PF Dayton
8.) Isaac Okoro G/F Auburn
9.) Deni Avdija F Israel
10.) Tyrese Maxey G Kentucky
11.) Theo Maledon G France
12.) Cole Anthony PG North Carolina
13.) Aaron Nesmith SF Vanderbilt
14.) Precious Achiuwa F/C Memphis
15.) Saddiq Bey F Villanova
16.) Patrick Williams F Florida State
17.) Devin Vassell SG Florida State
18.) Kira Lewis Jr. PG Alabama
19.) Jahmi'us Ramsey G Texas Tech
20.) Josh Green SG Arizona
21.) Jalen Smith PF Maryland
22.) RJ Hampton G USA
23.) Aleksej Pokusevski F/C Serbia
24.) Isaiah Stewart C Washington
25.) Tyrell Terry PG Stanford

Obi Toppin’s Well-Rounded Game & Experience

The entire 2020 class will face unique hurdles in the months ahead. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the traditional pre-draft process has flown completely out the window. When looking at that landscape, Dayton forward Obi Toppin’s experience stands above the rest. Following a successful freshman campaign, the 6-foot-9 star entered the 2019 draft pool. Toppin then took the feedback he obtained and exited the draft in hopes of bolstering his skill set prior to the 2020 NBA Draft.

Now facing a re-tooled process prior to October’s draft date, Toppin’s experience from last season has only increased in value. In an interview with ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz, Toppin explained that he is spending his pre-draft time working out in New Jersey alongside his brother (Jacob Toppin, who is headed to Kentucky), Lance Ware (also headed to Kentucky), and Seton Hall guard Myles Powell. Inside those workouts, Toppin revealed that his using the feedback he received from last year’s journey to guide his workouts.

When I worked out with NBA teams last summer, I was told to work on my shot consistency. I’m taking a lot of consecutive shots in a row. Working on hip mobility defensively, I can move a lot quicker and guard different positions instead of just the 4 and 5. Finishing around the rim — everyone knows I can get up and dunk, but finishing with soft touches around the rim.

Working out with Myles Powell, being able to guard that type of player — he’s a great guard. Everyone knows what he did at Seton Hall. He’s helping me a lot, forcing me to get low and really play defense. If I don’t, he’s going to destroy me every play.

Adding range and defensive versatility would only bolster Toppin’s impressive profile that is currently buoyed by his phenomenal production during the Flyers’ stellar run to a 29-2 record this past season. Inside a draft class that faces a long list of unknowns, Toppin’s experience with a redshirt college season and the traditional pre-draft process should serve as an important strength alongside his peers.

Risers & Fallers

Along with adding five new prospects to the big board, there was some movement inside the top 20. The most noteworthy drop featured RJ Hampton. He fell from No. 15 to No. 22 in today’s rankings. A combination of Hampton’s struggles in Australia’s NBL and a re-watch of a handful of Florida State’s ACC games led to the 19-year-old’s decline (shout out to Nate Mann for making me reconsider my placement of Seminoles standouts Patrick Williams and Devin Vassell).

Outside of Hampton’s fall, Jahmi’us Ramsey’s move from unranked to No. 19 stood above the rest. The Texas Tech guard has a modern three-point arsenal, allowing him to score off the dribble and in catch-and-shoot situations. Along with that, Ramsey’s size and motor make him a threat at either guard position in the NBA.