The New York Knicks expected Obi Toppin to be part of their long-term future. However, Toppin’s rookie season so far has been a roller coaster ride that’s filled with more lows than highs. Compared to other lottery selections, the 23-year-old forward failed to make an immediate impact on the Knicks.
In his first 53 games in the NBA, he only scored 4.0 points and 2.2 rebounds on average while shooting 48.9% from the field and 28.8% from beyond the arc, according to ESPN.
Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer discussed several topics, including Toppin and his uncertain future with the Knicks. Aside from his obvious lack of experience, Fischer cited other factors that may have contributed to Toppin’s fight with the Knicks in the 2020-21 NBA season.
Unlike other rookies who are playing for team rebuilding, Toppin only gets limited playtime with the Knicks. This is somewhat expected for him since he is playing in the same position as the Knicks’ main boy, Julius Randle, and has Tom Thibodeau as his head coach. Additionally, Toppin suffered an injury this year that put him on the sidelines for more than a week.
Unless he shows a huge improvement in the remaining regular season games and playoffs, an unnamed assistant general manager who spoke to Bleacher Report believes the Knicks are better off trading Toppin in the 2021 offseason.
“They will have to trade Obi this summer,” the GM assistant said. “You can’t really play him and Randle together. There’s no lead for him to be successful there.”