Obi Toppin is joining the New York Knicks.
The New York Knicks selected Dayton power forward Obi Toppin with the 8th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
The Brooklyn native has strong connections to the Knicks front office as he is represented by team president Leon Rose’s former agency, CAA. He has also spent time this offseason training with Rick Brunson and Dejuan Wagner, who is close with Knicks executive William Wesley.
The Knicks were rumored to be negotiating with the Cleveland Cavailers about potentially moving up to the 5th pick to select Toppin. But the draft board fell favorably for them with Toppin landing in their laps at eight.
In selecting the 22-year-old, who was the 2020 National College Player of the Year, the Knicks passed up on several other intriguing options, including skilled forward Deni Avdija, Florida State’s Devin Vassell, and point guard Tyrese Haliburton.
New York started the day by trading their 27th and 38th picks to Utah for the 23rd overall selection. The 27th pick was originally acquired in the deal that sent Marcus Morris to the Clippers. The 38th pick was from Charlotte as a result of the Willy Hernangomez trade.
Toppin will join a young core that includes 2019 lottery pick RJ Barrett, along with previous lotto selections in Kevin Knox and Frank Ntilikina. Of course, 2018 second round standout Mitchell Robinson remains a cornerstone piece.
It will be interesting to see how Julius Randle’s future with the team unfolds after the Knicks have added a power forward in Toppin.
The Knicks revamped their scouting department over the summer with the hire of Walt Perrin from the Utah Jazz. They also added several professional scouts. General Manager Scott Perry was the one holdover from the Steve Mills regime, and it is believed he still had a strong say in the draft process.
The Knicks enter the offseason with the ability to create over $42 million in cap space. They have until Thursday evening to make several decisions on players on team options and non-guaranteed deals. They must also decide whether to extend a qualifying offer to restricted free agent Damyean Dotson.
This is breaking news. Check back as more information becomes available.