Knicks Draft: Obi Toppin seeking advice from Kevin Knox?

Jan 14, 2020; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox II (20) warms up before game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 14, 2020; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox II (20) warms up before game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
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Auburn’s Isaac Okoro is preparing for the draft by seeking input from a familiar name to the New York Knicks.


In preparation for the 2020 NBA Draft, top prospect Obi Toppin has been playing pickup games while also seeking advice from New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox, according to the New York Times.

Why this matters: At first glance, it seems kind of ridiculous for one of the nation’s top college players to look to one of the NBA’s most underwhelming prospects for advice about life in the pros. But you never know how prior relationships lead to players connecting off the court. What matters more from the report is an added detail about Toppin working with former Knicks point guard Rick Brunson, who was Tom Thibodeau’s assistant in Chicago and Minnesota.

As New York’s front office works overtime to build their draft board ahead of the November 18 event, it can’t hurt to have trusted sources who have relationships with the Knicks to provide insight on a player like Toppin’s game.

Toppin’s draft stock: Jonathan Macri of Knicks Film School reported in late September that if Toppin is available at eight, one league source believes there is a “100%” chance he is going to be the Knicks’ pick. Most mocks have Toppin slated to be selected within the first 5-6 picks, so it seems unlikely that he will fall to New York. Of course, the Knicks could always trade up to select him.

A little background on Toppin: The 6-foot-9 forward is a bit old for a player projected to be selected in the lottery. The 22-year-old is only one day younger than Jayson Tatum. After redshirting his true freshman season due to academic issues, Toppin quickly made in impression in the Atlantic-10 conference, but wasn’t quite ready for the draft in 2019. He is back this year, after winning the National College Player of the Year Award.

Toppin was the only NCAA player in the nation to average 20 points and 7 rebounds while shooting over 60 percent from the floor, per NBA stats.

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If the draft surprises us and Toppin falls to the Knicks at eight, we will have to check back on his relationship with Knox as a possible bonus to transitioning him into the league.