Possible landing spots for Obi Toppin if the Knicks trade him


June 26, 2023 | 21:03

The Knicks didn’t just delete a Toppin on draft night, they added one.

Despite signing Obi Toppin’s younger brother, Jacob Toppin, to a two-way contract last week after the former Kentucky forward went unselected in the NBA draft, the Knicks could still move their former lottery pick this summer, especially if they decide himself to hold on to All-Star power forward Julius Randle.

If Randle stays, there appears to be no path to an increase in playing time within Tom Thibodeau’s nine-man rotation for Obi Toppin, who averaged just 14.7 minutes per game. game over 67 games last season.

Those numbers broke down to 14.4 minutes in 62 appearances off the bench and 31.5 minutes over five starts while Randle was out for the final five regular-season games with an ankle injury that required arthroscopic surgery after the Knicks was eliminated by the Heat in the match. second round of the playoffs.

If Julius Randle stays, there may be some wiggle room in Obi Toppin’s already limited playing time.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Toppin reportedly got into a shouting match with Thibodeau after he played just six minutes and was benched for the entire second half of Game 4 in Miami.

The frustrated outburst was out of character for the 25-year-old Brooklyn native, who has never publicly complained about his role.

Keep in mind that Toppin is also eligible to sign a rookie-scale extension this offseason, or he could become a restricted free agent after next season.

The 2022 NBA Slam Dunk Champion can still be moved even if he is not included in a package for a star like Paul George, Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach LaVine, Zion Williamson, Jaylen Brown or another player at that level.

With that in mind, here are several potential landing spots and intriguing fits that would make sense for Toppin in terms of roster composition, style and available playing time.


The Pacers were reported to have expressed interest in Toppin at the trade deadline, and the Pacers didn’t boast a true “4” for most of last season as they started either Aaron Nesmith or Jalen Smith at that spot. They added 6-foot-8 forward Jarace Walker from Houston in a draft night swap with the Wizards.

LA Clippers

The Clippers were also listed as a potential destination for Toppin before the draft by The Athletic, but they held on to the No. 30 overall pick and drafted Missouri wing Kobe Brown. Whether or not the Clips move Paul George, they are said to be looking to add more athleticism to the frontcourt this summer, and Toppin would certainly provide that. They were prepared to include Marcus Morris as the third team in the original permutation of the Kristaps Porzingis-to-Boston trade, but they were ultimately replaced by the Grizzlies in the three-way deal.

Kobe Brown speaks to the media during the 2023 NBA basketball Draft Combine.


Everyone is waiting to see if the Trail Blazers commit to a youth movement and make All-Star guard Damian Lillard available in the coming weeks after holding on to the No. 3 overall pick and drafting Scoot Henderson. The Blazers could also move forward Jerami Grant and create more frontcourt time for Toppin.


The NBA’s top scoring team in the regular season — and the league leaders in pace — were the Kings, and it’s fun to imagine Toppin coming up and down in Mike Brown’s offense. He would fit nicely in a forward rotation that features Keegan Murray, Harrison Barnes and Trey Lyles.

Trey Lyles goes up for a shot on Gary Payton II of the Golden State Warriors in the first half of Game Six of the Western Conference first round playoffs.
Getty Images


The Hawks’ pending trade of forward John Collins to the Jazz, reported by ESPN on Monday, will open up significant minutes at that position.

Minnesota/New Orleans

Two teams considering deals involving their big power forwards are the Timberwolves and Pelicans, with Towns and Williamson, respectively. If one of those players is dealt, even if it’s not to the Knicks, it could create an opportunity to move Toppin to one of those teams.

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