The New York Knicks have been one of the most active clubs on the trade market this season and, in turn, are seen as a team that could potentially make a big swing to try and bolster their talent pool as they look to make a playoff push.
Though many fans are obviously hoping to be pleased with Leon Rose and company’s projected escapades leading up to the February 9 deadline, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley seems to think a different tune could be sung, as he recently predicted that third-year big Obi Toppin will end up being aggressively shopped which, from his understanding, is something that many do not wish to see happen.
“This won’t be fun to hear for Knicks fans who have let their imaginations run wild ever since the franchise spent the No. 8 pick of the 2020 draft on Obi Toppin. Still, it’s obvious his roadblocks to floor time (Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson) are going nowhere, and it has limited the Dayton product’s ability to make any kind of significant impact. His playing time is down from last season (17.1 minutes to 15.2), and his reduced role may be taking its toll, as his field-goal percentage has tumbled 10 points (53.1 to 43.0).
“Toppin turns 25 in March. This might be his third NBA season, but the clock is already ticking for him to take flight. If that’s not going to happen in New York, the Knicks need to trade him to a place where there is hope that it might,” Buckley wrote.
Obi Toppin is a name that has oft been found mentioned as being a possible trade departee this season, with reports of him being included in serious trade negotiations dating back to late December.
While he has shown flashes of being a top-notch talent in the association, particularly when given a starting nod where he posts stellar averages of 20.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and just shy of a block on 57% shooting from the floor and 43.6% shooting from deep, Buckley suggests that should he remain in New York moving forward he may not be able to reach his full potential, as there are already several players ahead of him on the depth chart who are eating up a substantial amount of frontcourt minutes.
That said, perhaps on another team he could wind up coming across some much deserved playing time.
Knicks, Jazz Have Discussed Toppin Deal
The latest rumblings revolving around a possible Knicks trade is reported to involve the likes of Toppin heading outbound, as ESPN’s Tim MacMahon shared on February 7 that the Knicks have engaged in discussions with the Utah Jazz that would send the former lottery pick out to Salt Lake City.
“The Jazz discussing a deal that would send Beasley and Vanderbilt to the New York Knicks – where Gersson Rosas, the former Minnesota Timberwolves GM who traded for them and gave them their current contracts handles most of the trade calls – for guard Evan Fournier (whose contract New York wants to shed), promising young forward Obi Toppin and draft compensation,” MacMahon reports.
This report by MacMahon is by no means the first time Toppin’s name has been linked to the Jazz, as HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto previously broke news on February 4 that both the Knicks and Jazz have held “exploratory conversations” revolving around a trade idea that would swap the 24-year-old, Evan Fournier, and draft compensation for wing Malik Beasley and big man Jarred Vanderbilt.
Knicks Guard Sends Cryptic Message
Directly following the blockbuster deal that sent star Kyrie Irving from the Brooklyn Nets to the Dallas Mavericks, the Twitter-verse went into an all-out frenzy.
Interestingly enough, former Dallas guard and current Knicks star Jalen Brunson sent out an unsolicited tweet of his own during the hours following the deal that left many wondering about what the meaning behind the message could be.
“Bro no way,” Brunson tweeted.
To some, the cryptic message was a possible sign that he has desires to now make his way back to the Mavericks to join what could be tabbed as a new legitimate title contender while others are of the belief that he may be referring to a possible opportunity to take Irving’s spot as an Eastern Conference All-Star which, to the New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy, could be a possible scenario.