As the season has dragged on, the Charlotte Hornets have fell in mock draft rankings. In week one, many folks had them picking in the top three. But with a 15-24 record, the Hornets are just one spot out from a playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.
With that, the Hornets have dropped in the latest mock drafts, but are still projected to get a good player late in the lottery.
At Sports Illustrated, Jeremy Woo is projecting that the Hornets will draft Dayton forward Obi Toppin with the No. 10 overall pick.
Here's what you need to know about Toppin:
- Has led Dayton to a 13-2 start and a No. 15 ranking in the AP Poll.
- Toppin is a 6-foot-9 redshirt sophomore from Brooklyn, New York, but he attended high school at Mt. Zion Prep in Baltimore, Maryland.
- Was named mid-season Player of the Year by The Athletic.
- Is averaging 19.5 points and 7.7 rebounds per-game this season, while shooting 35.9 percent from three-point range.
Here's what Woo had to say about Toppin:
"The NBA certainly favors bigs of Toppin’s ilk right now, and there’s plenty to like here. Charlotte appears to have found a long-term answer at point guard in Devonte’ Graham, and shoring up their frontcourt with a more dynamic scorer would be close to ideal."
Here's what Toppin told NCAA.com about his play this year:
"When I go into every game my teammates and my coaches put me in great positions to be successful as I do the same for them. I trust my players while I'm on the court with them and they trust me. Every time we're on the court we all know what our jobs are to get a win. They're the reason why I am who I am today."
One problem with the Hornets drafting Toppin is that they already have two young forwards on the roster in Miles Bridges and P.J. Washington. They've also stashed project players like Robert Franks and Jalen McDaniels down in the G-League.
Still, it's obvious that Toppin is immensely talented. He can catch lobs, rebound and knock down corner three's. If the Hornets are in a position to take the best player of available and not trying to fill a specific need, Toppin might be just that on draft night.