Which of These Two Prospects Would You Rather The Warriors Draft?
We’ll present scouting reports, and you can vote at the end of this post. For details on how these prospects were selected and seeded, see the master tournament post.
4. Obi Toppin
(Graphic from Sports-Reference.com)
No college player helped himself more this season than Toppin. The former zero-star recruit became the CBS Sports National Player of the Year after averaging 20.0 points and 7.5 rebounds while shooting 63.3% from the field and 39.0% from 3-point range. He's a super-athletic forward who dunks everything; he actually led the nation in dunks; and consistently makes jumpers in pick-and-pop situations.
PRO COMPARISON: Blake Griffin
Toppin turns 22 in March, and it’s unlikely he ends up becoming a legitimate star at the NBA level, but there’s security in his shooting ability and hulking frame, and Dayton’s NBA-style spread attack has played to his strengths nicely.
Toppin might be the most accomplished offensive weapon in this draft.
Where he really struggles is changing directions to recover once he gets dragged one way by a guard. That “one-one-thousand” to stop and then recover to challenge a shot is all the time a pick-and-pop big needs to launch away.
His rebounding rate is quite ordinary. Finally, he’s likely a one-position player – too stiff laterally to check 3s, but not stout enough physically to battle 5s.
Glides through the air for ferocious dunks. Nimble ball handler who can attack from the perimeter. Good shooter from NBA 3-point range. Strong playmaker. Has the leaping ability and quickness to theoretically be an effective shot blocker.
Brutal pick-and-roll defender who displays little recognition or feel for reading a screen. High center of gravity limits his defensive ability in the post. Doesn’t change directions well laterally. Poor help defender and rebounder who doesn’t play with great awareness or effort. Lacks an arsenal of low-post scoring moves and is raw shooting off the dribble.
SHADES OF: Amar’e Stoudemire (on offense), Jahlil Okafor (on defense)
Toppin last season led college basketball in dunks and in 2-point shooting percentage for a top-10 Dayton team.
Anthony Grant’s offense at Dayton was as close to a modern NBA scheme as you are going to find in the college game, and the reason he is able to play that way has everything to do with Toppin’s skill set.
Ethan Strauss and Evan Zamir, The Athletic:
Evan: I don’t want to say he’s the “next Siakam,” but can he be perhaps the next David Lee (an explosive vertical athlete early in his career and very underrated playmaker) but with a 3-point shot? That starts to look a little bit like what John Collins is becoming, but with somewhat better playmaking ability. That’s sort of the archetype I’m seeing Obi occupying.
Ethan: First, I just want to note that Obi Toppin might be the best offensive player in college basketball. Second, I just want to note that I’m not sure he can dribble…. If he gets the ball off a pick-and-pop and the defender closes out properly, Toppin struggles on the drive that follows the pump fake. This concerns me if we’re projecting him as a 4.
13. Saddiq Bey
(Graphic from Sports-Reference.com)
Bey was merely a sub-125 recruit in the Class of 2018, the least-heralded prospect in Villanova's four-player class. So the idea that he’s about to be a two-and-done player who gets selected in the first round speaks to his development, and growth, over the past two years.
While his style of play is unspectacular, he’s been shooting the ball extremely well from distance and has the right body type and physical tools to be a long-time NBA role player. It’s no secret that teams tend to feel fairly comfortable drafting Villanova products.
Bey might have the lowest ceiling of any player on this list, but he has a high floor and plays a coveted role as a 3-and-D wing with size. He got on the draft radar by shooting extremely well from 3 this year (45.1 percent), but his overall body of work (including a 72.8 percent career mark from the line) suggests he’ll be good-but-not-great shooter as a pro. His greatest value might be as an on-ball defender.
Calling him a “switchable” player doesn’t do this justice. Bey is listed at 6-8 but routinely guarded 6-2 guys, and when those small guards thought they could take him off the dribble the results were borderline hilarious. You could make a five-minute YouTube compilation of fools attacking Bey and throwing up no-hoper slop that missed the rim entirely.
SHADES OF: Tobias Harris, DeMarre Carroll, Jae Crowder
Good spot-up shooter with a lightning-quick release, and a comfortable scorer off the dribble and off movement; he can take a pull-up or run off a simple screen.
Flashes secondary playmaking skills. Smart decision-maker who attacks closeouts and delivers accurate passes.
Versatile defender capable of matching up across positions. Aware off-ball defender who rotates well.
Not an explosive player. Clunky off-hand dribbler. Screening must improve so teams can use him in set actions. Releases the ball in front of his body, and his shooting success has come within a small sample.
I think that he has a chance to be one of the best players to come out of this 2020 NBA Mock Draft. Bey is something of a late-bloomer. He’s was a 6-foot-1 guard when he was a sophomore, and according to the Villanova coaching staff, he has actually grown an inch or two since he arrived on campus. He’s listed at 6-foot-8 and may be closer to 6-foot-9 by the time it’s all said and done.
So what we have here is a multi-positional defender that shoots the cover off the ball and can be a playmaker off the bounce. I think he’s just as good of a prospect as Mikal Bridges, Donte DiVincenzo, Eric Paschall and Josh Hart, and all four of those guys have turned into players that will last in the NBA for a while. Bey is next in line.
But according to league sources, some Warriors decision-makers believe that Bey is an NBA-ready wing with a chance to become a franchise building block. Whether that would be enough for Golden State to use a top-five pick on him remains unclear. If the Warriors decide they must have Bey, they’d probably be best served trading down to the late lottery.
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