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Report: Cavs Like Obadiah Toppin Over Onyeka Okongwu
- Updated: April 11, 2020
The NBA season may be suspended due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, but teams are still preparing for the upcoming NBA draft.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, in particular, are readying themselves by looking at a number of top prospects. Among them are Obadiah Toppin and Onyeka Okongwu.
According to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, the Cavs may think more highly of Toppin than Okongwu, although both certainly have their merits.
“I went back and forth on Toppin and Okongwu as the fifth option,” wrote Fedor. “I get the sense the Cavs like Toppin more. But I personally give Okongwu the edge. One of the top recruits out of high school as [LaMelo] Ball’s teammate, Okongwu quickly carried that over to the Pac-12. He averaged 16.2 points on 61.6 percent from the field to go with 8.6 rebounds, 2.7 blocks and 1.2 steals. He also hit around 70 percent from the foul line — a reason for optimism when trying to project his outside shooting stroke. Stats and a motor? Yes, please.”
Toppin, a 6-foot-9, 220 pound forward out of the University of Dayton, had a strong 2019-20 season. He put up 20.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.0 blocks per game while shooting 63.3 percent and 39.0 percent from 3-point range.
NBADraft.net has the Cavs taking Toppin with the second overall pick in the draft and has Shawn Marion and Kenyon Marion as the closest analogues to Toppin.
Okongwu played with Ball at Chino Hills High School, then made the move to the University of Southern California. Okongwu also stands at 6-foot-9 and weighs 235 pounds.
Since Kevin Love doesn’t seem to figure in the Cavs’ long-term plans, there’s a feeling they should draft a forward.
However, some, including Fedor, feel they should just draft the best player available. The Cavs didn’t do so in 2012, and therefore passed up on a Weber State University guard named Damian Lillard.