Report: Cavs didn’t draft Obi Toppin due to one major flaw

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The Cleveland Cavaliers selected Auburn University forward Isaac Okoro with the No. 5 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

However, the Cavs had been linked to Dayton University forward Obi Toppin, but they passed on him at No. 5 to take Okoro.

According to the New York Post’s Marc Berman, Cleveland wasn’t sold on Toppin’s defensive ability.

That question mark led to the Cavs passing on Toppin, who fell to the New York Knicks at No. 8 in the draft.

“According to an NBA source, the Cavaliers weren’t sold on Toppin’s defensive prowess,” Berman wrote. “Cleveland instead took Auburn’s Isaac Okoro, considered the draft’s best wing defender. The Cavaliers have been the league’s worst defensive team for two straight seasons.”

The Cavs need to improve their defense during the 2020-21 season if they want to be competitive.

Cleveland finished with the worst record in the Eastern Conference last season.

While Toppin may be the superior offensive player, Okoro clearly fits the culture that the Cavs are trying to build going forward.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.