3. Phoenix Suns
Another good landing spot if Toppin slips — Phoenix offers an ecosystem that might be able to make very good use of his talents while hiding his weaknesses. Deandre Ayton’s burgeoning defensive ceiling looks promising as a backline stopper, and with talented defensive wings Mikal Bridges and Kelly Oubre also around for the immediate future, the Sun’s surprisingly improved defense should be able to continue to improve, and that would make them a pretty enticing spot for the Dayton forward. Much like how Kyle Kuzma is able to thrive in a Lakers’ ecosystem that does well to account for his deficiencies, the Suns’ roster as currently constructed could put Toppin in some pretty good spots by surrounding him with a strong playmaker in Ricky Rubio, a high-level shot-creator in Devin Booker, shooters like Cam Johnson, and Ayton as a backline complement.
The best spot for Toppin long-term would be as a Frank Kaminsky upgrade, likely filling the minutes the team wanted Ryan Anderson to control in 2018-19. The short roll creation responsibility, rebounding, and spot-up shooting Phoenix has asked of Kaminsky and Dario Saric this year would be things Toppin would do well with, and if he shoots better than expected, that could significantly upgrade the spacing the team is trying to use this role in the rotation for. A Phoenix team looking to take the next step to becoming a playoff contender with Ayton and Booker at the helm would do well with grabbing the more NBA-ready Toppin over several of the other options likely available in the lottery.