Rumor: Knicks will need to trade Obi Toppin because of roster fit

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Cody Taylor
·2 min read
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When the New York Knicks selected Obi Toppin eighth last year, the pick earned mostly positive reviews among fans and experts alike but his future in the Big Apple is uncertain.

In the weeks leading up to the draft, the Knicks were linked heavily to Toppin. He is from Brooklyn, and they were one of four teams Toppin worked out with prior to the draft. The organization was said to be impressed with him on and off of the court, so it wasn’t surprising they selected him.

Fast forward to now, and that tune may have changed because of roster circumstances.

According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, who cited an anonymous assistant general manager, the Knicks may eventually need to trade Toppin. The executive pointed to the emergence of All-Star Julius Randle, and how little coach Tom Thibodeau has played Toppin this season as reasons.

“They’re gonna have to trade Obi this summer,” the assistant GM said. “You can’t really play him and Randle together. There’s no runway for him to be successful there.”

Toppin has played sparingly with the Knicks, averaging just 11.1 minutes in 52 appearances this season. A calf injury suffered in the season opener forced him to miss the next 10 games, which slowed his development significantly to begin the year.

While Toppin isn’t a big part of the rotation, Thibodeau recently praised the 23-year-old for his work ethic after scoring nine points in a win over the Toronto Raptors, in which he hit two big 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.

“Obi has been practicing great,” Thibodeau said on Saturday. “I thought he played great tonight. Our bench gave us a big lift, and he was at the heart of it. I thought they played very well together. He has put a lot of extra time into his shooting. He is coming back at night and is (improving) his shot, so I think he is gaining confidence.”

Of course, the recent revelation by the unnamed executive is hardly indicative of the Knicks’ feelings on Toppin, but it does present some questions about his future with the team.

In any case, seeing which direction the Knicks will go this summer should be worth monitoring.

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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