Numbers Show Knicks Stud Could Be a Legitimate Star

Obi Toppin, New York Knicks

Getty Fans react after a slam dunk by Obi Toppin of the New York Knicks during the second half against the Boston Celtics.

As we approach the 2022-23 campaign, the New York Knicks find themselves coming in with one of the younger rosters in the NBA, boasting an average age of just 24.2.

That said, despite their youthfulness and overall inexperience, this group of ballers consists of several high-potential players on the cusp of breaking out.

Amongst this group of impressive talents is soon-to-be third-year big man Obi Toppin who, throughout his tenure in New York, has shown flashes of brilliance with his thunderous dunks and otherworldly athleticism.

As far as his per-game production goes, at least on the surface, the 24-year-old may not be turning any heads, boasting somewhat underwhelming averages of just 6.7 points and 3 rebounds for his career thus far.

However, upon digging a bit deeper, when given increased opportunities on the hardwood, Toppin has managed to up his level of play in rather big ways, especially when found in the starting lineup.

The former lottery pick has been truly astonishing both from the eye test as well as by the numbers when found within New York’s first-five lineup, as he holds stellar averages of 20.3 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and just shy of a block on 57% shooting from the floor and 43.6% shooting from deep in such a role.

In these contests, the Knicks went on to capture two of their most lopsided victories of the 2021-22 season, downing the Washington Wizards 114-92 on April 8 while also routing the Orlando Magic 118-88 on April 3.

A Trade From Knicks Could Finally Set Toppin Free

While Obi Toppin is a remarkable talent who has proven capable of excelling as a starter, since being selected 8 overall back in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Knicks have predominantly used him in a reserve role.

In large, this has been a result of the high-end production put forth by 2021 All-Star and current franchise centerpiece Julius Randle, who plays the same position.

Considering he just recently inked a four-year contract extension that’s set to kick in this season, it appears that the likelihood of seeing Toppin be inserted into the starting rotation for the Knicks on a full-time basis anytime soon seems rather slim.

However, recent rumblings suggest that New York could be looking to make some sizeable moves at some point in the near future, which could involve the youngster heading outbound in a potential trade.

Should this happen, it’s almost certain that Toppin would have a greater chance of finally being slotted in as a regular within a team’s starting lineup.

Perhaps that team could wind up being the Utah Jazz.

Knicks Open to Trading Toppin to Utah

The biggest storyline pertaining to the New York Knicks this summer has been that they’re heavily invested in trying to trade for Utah Jazz star guard Donovan Mitchell.

However, in order to get him, reports are that Jazz CEO Danny Ainge’s asking price is incredibly steep, as the ball club is looking for several young prospects and upwards of eight first-round picks in exchange for the All-Star’s services.

In reported exchanges between the two parties, though there are a couple of players the Knicks are unwilling to offload, Obi Toppin does not appear to be one of them.

In an August 3 interview with ESPN 700, The Athletic’s Tony Jones mentioned that Leon Rose and company are open to the concept of sending the young big man to the Jazz in a Mitchell blockbuster.

“I can tell you that the Knicks are amenable to giving the Jazz Obi Toppin, who’s a really young and high-energy, high-ceiling power forward,” Jones said.

After a month-long stretch of what seemingly consisted of daily reports about the situation between New York and Mitchell, as of late discussions have been put on hold.

Read More