Could the Knicks reunite with their former first-round pick in free agency?

As the New York Knicks continue to search for available free agents to bolster next season’s roster, the idea of ​​reuniting with a former No. 8 could show up this summer.

Forward Obi Toppin will become a restricted free agent this offseason after playing one season with the Indiana Pacers, the same team that eliminated the Knicks in the playoffs this year. After failing to break out in his first three years with the Knicks, New York traded him to the Pacers for the low price of two second-round picks last summer. He is now on the market for the first time in his career, although Indiana can match any offer he is presented with.

The idea of ​​giving him a change of scenery had many Knicks fans thinking that Toppin would finally become the star he was envisioned when he was drafted eighth overall in 2020, and that the organization would regret moving on from him so early to his NBA. career. Unfortunately for Toppin, he showed little improvement in his game and was essentially the same transition spiker and corner specialist he was with New York, which wouldn’t be a problem for either team if he wasn’t expected to become a significantly more versatile player.

Last season, he averaged 10.3 points and 2.9 rebounds while shooting 57 percent from the floor and 40 percent from three. While his offensive numbers took a slight leap, an inability to rebound and defend at the power forward position forced Indiana to relegate Toppin to the bench full-time in mid-January after making 28 starts. The Pacers would acquire Pascal Siakam shortly thereafter, subjecting Toppin to once again playing behind an All-Star.

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