Report: Cavs looking to trade down in order to draft Obi Toppin

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With Wednesday night’s NBA draft on the horizon, a new report indicates that the Cleveland Cavaliers may trade down a few spots in an effort to draft prospect Obi Toppin and obtain some additional assets.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer looked at the positive and negative aspects of each prospect and pegged Toppin as the Cavaliers’ future pick with the fifth overall selection. Regarding possible trade partners with the Cavs, O’Connor mentioned the Detroit Pistons who are currently two spots below the Cavaliers

“Toppin is an explosive offensive presence who can play inside or outside, though his defensive shortcomings are worrisome,” O’Connor wrote. “One person who’s seen Toppin work out told me they were impressed by his progress moving laterally since his season at Dayton ended; it’s hard to get a read on that until we see him in a real game, but it’s vital his defense improves to at least a passable level.

“The Cavaliers are also looking to trade down a few spots to scoop up additional assets and still select Toppin, league sources say. One candidate to trade up is the Pistons, to assure they draft Patrick Williams, a young, versatile forward with blossoming offensive talent.”

Toppin played two seasons at the University of Dayton and is coming off an award-winning 2019-20 season that elevated him into the early portion of the draft.

Standing 6-foot-9, Toppin would give the Cavaliers an athletic player with excellent jumping ability and add another building block to their rebuilding roster.

Exactly what the Cavaliers would receive in return for dropping down two spots is unknown.

One risk for the Cavaliers if they make such a deal is that the Atlanta Hawks could trade the sixth overall pick to a team that then selects Toppin. Recent reports have indicated that the Hawks could make the pick available.

Regardless of what takes place, the Cavaliers are hoping that the player they end up choosing will play a key role in getting them back on track.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.