The Timberwolves Need to Draft Obi Toppin if they Keep the First Pick

Photo: Erik Schelkun/Dayton Athletics

Last Thursday, the Timberwolves won the NBA Draft Lottery for just the second time in franchise history. This leaves them with a bunch of options for the October 16th draft. Gersson Rosas has already made the Timberwolves exponentially better since when he started, bringing in players like Malik Beasley and D’Angelo Russell.

Now, with the 1st, 17th and 33rd picks in the upcoming draft, Rosas has options. Many prefer he trade the #1 overall pick. That’s not what I’m here to discuss. I’m here to talk about what the Timberwolves should do if they choose to keep the cards they’ve been dealt. If they do indeed play their own hand, come October (tentatively), Rosas & Co should draft the high-flyer out of Dayton, Obi Toppin.

Toppin was an absolute stud at Dayton University. He almost single handedly turned the Flyers into one of the best programs in all of college basketball.

Toppin’s awards this past season read as long as his seven foot six wingspan. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native was voted National Player of the Year by almost every media outlet. This included the NABC, Associated Press and USA Today. Toppin was also Dayton’s first-ever consensus All-American in 2019-20.

Toppin averaged 20.0 points per game, 7.5 rebounds per game, while shooting over 60 percent from the field. This made him one of the most efficient players in all of college basketball. In 33 games last year, he had just one game where he scored less than 10 points, scoring a season-low eight points against Grambling.

CBS Sports is not as high on Toppin as I am, ranking him ninth on their “big board”.


There isn’t a true superstar in this class unlike last year’s draft. But I think Toppin could have the highest ceiling out of anyone in this class. He could slide right in next to Karl-Anthony Towns at either the four or five.

I also believe that Toppin would fill the biggest need on the Wolves. They are pretty set at guard and although they do have a need at small forward, it will all depend on if Anthony Edwards makes the Wolves fall in love with him.

One word sticks out with Toppin: athleticism. In 2019-20, Toppin led the nation in dunks with 107 and is the Flyers all-time leader with 190 career dunks, including 10 (!) in a single game.

I mean, how could you not like this guy in a Timberwolves uniform!?

Toppin’s stats speak for itself. He’s a winner that turned an Atlantic-10 team into one of the best teams in the nation. But will the Timberwolves fall in love with the high-flyer (pun intended) enough to take him number one?

Hunter Plante | Minnesota Sports Fan

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