Knicks’ Obi Toppin Receives Promising Injury Update

obi toppin

Getty Obi Toppin gets good news.

The New York Knicks have been without the services of Obi Toppin since he left the victory over the Atlanta Hawks on December 7.

He suffered a knee injury that was meant to keep him out 2-3 weeks, so we’re a bit past that timetable now, but the team has received some encouraging news as of late.

Ahead of the January 4 matchup against the San Antonio Spurs, Toppin has been upgraded to “questionable” instead of simply being out. This would mean he has a slim chance of suiting up for the game, but it’s definitely a step ahead of where he was just a game ago.

Toppin Recovering From Knee Injury

For somebody as high-flying as Toppin is, a knee injury can be a rough thing to bounce back from. He’s missed a total of 13 games so far, and his production has mostly been replaced by Jericho Sims, another athletic big man.

Before the injury, Toppin was averaging 7.7 PPG and a career-best 3.8 RPG. His scoring is down from last season where he averaged 9.0 on 17.1 minutes a game. The Knicks will have to make a decision on the forward soon as he’s getting ready to enter a contract year with the team still waiting for him to make a big leap.

The problem is he’s stuck behind Julius Randle in the lineup, and while there was a sense he could cut into Randle’s minutes, that didn’t happen as the former All-Star started having a strong season and Toppin was hurt.

When Toppin does fully recover, he’ll find his minutes again, but there’s a sense that he won’t ever be able to realize his potential fully with the Knicks as it’ll be difficult for him to ever land a starting role.

This could lead the Knicks to shopping him at the trade deadline, and an ideal candidate might already be out there in the Indiana Pacers.

Could the Knicks Trade Him?

Instead of running the risk of losing him for nothing, the Knicks could decide to trade Toppin away if the price is right. While he’s a former lottery pick, teams aren’t exactly knocking on the team’s door about trading for Toppin, but there are many situations where he could thrive.

An Eastern Conference executive speaking to Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney says the Pacers and Knicks have been engaged on talks, and that Indiana would have the assets that could potentially get a deal done.

There has been some talk between the Pacers and Knicks about Obi,” the exec said. “He fits in Indiana, especially if they keep Turner. Obi is a rim-runner, he has some toughness, he has athleticism. He needs minutes and a team that is rebuilding with young talent like Indy is a really good match. The Pacers have some first-rounders this year that are going to be pretty low (Boston and Cleveland) and maybe that would get a deal done.”

There are likely other teams who could use Toppin’s services, but the Pacers could certainly take advantage of his youth and upside while also offering him a potential starting role. If the Knicks do decide to go down this path, they have options.

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