Could Obi Toppin slide all the way to the San Antonio Spurs at pick 11?
This may seem like an unnecessary and silly proposal but I’ll put it out there anyway – every four years we should move the NBA draft to mid-November. Sure, it’s competing with the NFL for air time and it was a good send off to the NBA summer. But, man has it been nice to take a break from getting bombarded by political ads to think about the future of the San Antonio Spurs.
On November 18th the Spurs will take a pivotal step forward in the remaking of their team. They’ve got their highest draft pick since 1997 and no one outside of the organization has a real solid clue as to what they’re going to do with it.
We can get hints about who they’re eyeing through who they’re having in for interviews and who they’re working out but a lot of this is smoke and mirrors. Agents and opposing teams leak reports all the time to try to get their guy. Barring a firm declaration from the organization itself it’s unlikely we know who they’re taking until the pick is in.
Many a predicting the Spurs to take someone like Patrick Williams but there could be a draft night twist that totally changes things.
Kevin O’Connor predicting an Obi Toppin to San Antonio Spurs situation
In his most recent mock draft, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor predicted that Obi Toppin, a player who many think could go anywhere from third to eighth, will slide to the Spurs on draft night.
“Spurs fans should be ecstatic if Toppin falls to no. 11 and gets to develop in San Antonio’s system. Toppin would benefit from Gregg Popovich’s teachings on the defensive end and a top-notch strength and conditioning program. Toppin could also make for a juicy pick-and-roll fit with Dejounte Murray as a lob threat or pop-out shooter.”
Now, KOC did have quite a few shake up’s in the order before the Spurs were up. LaMelo Ball surprisingly slid further than some would’ve thought and the Hawks and Wizards traded the 9th and 6th picks in the draft. But the end result was dream come true for Spurs fans.
Personally, I’m not the biggest Toppin fan. It’s easy to get enamored with the possibilities he brings you on offense but I don’t know if his skillset necessarily matches what the Spurs need right now.
The Spurs are coming off of a season where they got absolutely blitzed on the defensive end. Their perimeter defense was an absolute joke and their only saving grace at times was the rim protection of LaMarcus Aldridge and Jakob Poeltl.
With that context, is adding a big man who can’t stay with smaller players on the perimeter and doesn’t protect the rim really the best path forward for San Antonio? Especially if they’re in danger of losing Poeltl to another team.
It’s fair to point out the offensive impact that Toppin could have on the Spurs. He’d fit in well with the fast-paced style of play that they were running in the bubble and would certainly provide an injection of excitement after hammering home alley-oops. In half-court sets, he’d be a great playmaker from the high post and should be a dangerous pick and roll partner with any one of the Spurs young guards.
There’s little doubt that Toppin is going to be a good player in the NBA. But I don’t love the fit with the San Antonio Spurs. If he’s available when they’re on the clock I’d rather see them trade down and try to pick up another pick or player along the way.