With the eighth overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks selected high flyer Obi Toppin. Once this move was made it was a forgone conclusion that Julius Randle would be traded. But then, something would shush Knicks fans.
Randle began to play like an All-Star. He is averaging 22 points, six assists, and 11 rebounds per game. Randle is also shooting 40 percent from the three-point line. The stat that is most important to Obi’s future is Randle’s 36 minutes per game. Which is second in the league only behind James Harden.
The former Dayton Flyer entered the NBA draft with plenty of promise. Obi Toppin was awarded an All-American selection, The Karl Malone Award, and the Naismith College Player of the year. In his final season, Obi was averaging 20 points per game, seven rebounds, and one steal per game. The stat most NBA scouts were drooling over was his 39 percent shooting stroke from the three-point line. With many NBA executives drawing comparisons to a young Amar’e Stoudemire. All those stats and accolades have not meant much in the NBA. As Obi Toppin is averaging just 11 minutes per game.
With Julius Randle leading the resurgent Knicks to a very impressive start, the club seems to have switched gears. With an eye on making the playoffs first and developing the young talent they have second. This puts Toppin in a very tough position right because he is not getting an opportunity to shine. So, labeling him a draft bust seems a bit premature. However, Obi has failed to live up to his potential although it is by no fault of his own.
The Knicks are in a bit of a conundrum when it comes to Obi Toppin. Do they give up on the high flying forward or try to develop him in the future? This is a good position to be in for the Knicks as it gives the team plenty of options going forward. If a disgruntled star comes forward within the next couple of months the Knicks have the foundations of a nice trade package.
The Knicks can also continue to bring Obi off the bench and ease him into a more defined role. One thing is for certain the talent is there for Obi Toppin. His defense is better than advertised and he lacks for nothing in the athletic department. The Knicks might just have a rising star on their hands but it all comes due to opportunity.
5,007 total views, 3 views today