The New York Knicks‘ backup forward, Obi Toppin, managed to stay on the team beyond the recent trade deadline, much to the surprise of many. However, with the offseason underway, Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News has suggested that Toppin is a player to watch on the trade market.
Toppin’s Contract and Trade Implications
According to Bondy, Toppin, the eighth overall pick in 2020, is due for a contract extension before the season begins. If no agreement is reached by the October deadline, Toppin will become a restricted free agent next summer.
“Toppin, the eighth overall pick in 2020, is eligible for a contract extension before the season. If the sides don’t reach an agreement by the October deadline, Toppin becomes a restricted free agent next summer,” Bondy wrote.
“Then the Knicks risk losing him for nothing, or a lot less than what could be retrieved in a trade before that point.”
Toppin’s Struggles with the Knicks
The young forward has found it challenging to secure consistent playing time with the Knicks due to the rise of Julius Randle. Toppin’s draft was initially seen as a replacement for Randle. However, Randle seems set for a long-term stay, leaving Toppin with limited opportunities with the Knicks.
Bondy also mentions a league source suggesting Toppin’s dissatisfaction with his current role, though this hasn’t been publicly acknowledged. Toppin, a Dayton product, averaged only 7.4 points per game last season, often relegated to a spot-up shooter on offense.
Potential Benefits of a Toppin Trade
Moving Toppin to another team for additional draft capital could potentially be beneficial for both parties. It would provide the Knicks with more assets for potential trades and allow Toppin more game time to develop his skills.
The Interest of the Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers, a young team with plenty of draft picks they’re willing to trade for young talent, have shown interest in Toppin. The Pacers hold five picks in this year’s draft, including three first-rounders, whereas the Knicks have no picks.
Consequently, a draft day trade involving Toppin for one or two of Indiana’s picks could prove advantageous for both teams. Toppin would have the chance to develop his game in a young team, while the team would need to secure or sign a new backup power forward. However, this is a position that could be easily addressed with an inexpensive deal or even the draft.
The Future of Obi Toppin
Will the Knicks make the decision to trade Obi Toppin for mutual benefits? The answer remains to be seen. However, it’s worth keeping an eye on this developing situation, as the draft is just around the corner.
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