One NBA insider believes there is “no path to real playing time” for former New York Knicks first-round pick Obi Toppin, meaning a trade this summer seems increasingly likely.
After selecting Obi Toppin with the eighth pick overall in the 2020 NBA Draft, there was a lot of hope inside the New York Knicks organization that he could be their power forward of the future. However, the same year he entered the league, the man ahead of him on the depth chart — Julius Randle — played his way into a sizable long-term contract extension.
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Despite obvious signs of his talent over his first three seasons in the league, Toppin seems to have hit a ceiling on his potential with this roster. Randle is having another All-Star season and is blocking him from being a starter. However, head coach Tom Thibodeau has no interest in pairing them on the court together and does not see him as a good fight at center with the team already having three solid centers who better fit Thibodeau’s system.
New York Knicks record (2022): 43-33
Toppin seems at a dead end and a poor fit for the current New York Knicks roster. It is something ESPN NBA insider Zach Lowe went into some depth about late last week as he explained why the 25-year-old’s days in New York are likely numbered.
“Toppin’s strengths are all still there. He runs the floor faster than almost any big man, and he’s a quick passer with handoff skills. If he can make enough 3s — and New York brass was extremely bullish before the season — Toppin is a good backup and spot starter, despite below-average defense. Toppin is eligible for an extension this summer, but it’s hard to see any marriage here.”– Zach Lowe
The New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers reportedly had talked about a potential deal for the Dayton standout before the NBA trade deadline last season, however, talks didn’t progress beyond exploratory discussions.
Since the team is having a strong season with limited impact from him, it will surely lead to the Knicks making a harder push to move him this summer.