Interviewed by ESPN earlier this month, Toppin was asked what he will bring to a NBA team.
“I feel like my athleticism helps a lot,” Toppin said. “I run the floor really well. When I was at Dayton, they told me if I wasn’t getting the rebound, be the first one down the floor. As soon as the ball comes off the backboard and I know my teammate has it, I’m gone. I’m like a jet going down the court. I feel I can spread the floor a little bit. I can shoot a little bit. Pick-and-pop situations.”
Toppin swept the major national player of the year awards in the spring after helping lead Dayton to the best record in school history (29-2) and a perfect season (18-0) in the Atlantic 10 Conference. In two seasons with the Flyers, Toppin scored 1,096 points. He entered his name in the draft in March.
If Toppin slips out of the top five, he could fall to any of these teams. Here’s the rest of the lottery order: 6. Atlanta; 7. Detroit; 8. New York; 9. Washington; 10. Phoenix; 11. San Antonio; 12. Sacramento; 13. New Orleans; 14. Boston from Memphis.
Of course, there’s no guarantee Toppin will hear his name called in the top five. A group of NBA writers from The Athletic combined to predict the top eight picks Friday and did not include Toppin, while another mock draft by The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie predicted Toppin would go to his hometown New York Knicks with the No. 8 pick.
“Toppin is arguably the most skilled offensive forward in this draft class,” Vecenie wrote. “He’s a terrific shooter, a good decision-maker who can really pass it, he finishes around the rim at an elite level, and has some shot-creation ability off the bounce.