NY Knicks: 4 Players who could make or break the 2020-21 season

New York Knicks Dennis Smith Jr. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
New York Knicks Dennis Smith Jr. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Dec 11, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; New York Knicks forward Obi Toppin (1) celebrates with teammates after a play during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

3) Knicks Make or Break Player: Obi Toppin

Julius Randle is the present solution at power forward, but Obi Toppin is clearly the future. While he’s a bit old for a top 10 pick at 22 years of age, it also speaks to how polished his offensive arsenal truly is. He can shoot from all levels of the court, throw down-eye popping dunks and has even flashed some playmaking potential.

He’ll likely be an efficient contributor from day one, even if he’s coming off the bench. Toppin provides spacing for the guards while also acting as a lob threat that opposing defenses will need to keep tabs on.

His defense could use some work, but playing alongside a shot-blocking center such as Mitchell Robinson should help mask some of his issues with lateral quickness.

Toppin can operate as a sparkplug 6th man throughout his rookie year, getting adjusted to the speed of the NBA while also showcasing his offensive talent against other bench units. There’s also a good chance that he’ll have the opportunity to close some games out, receiving valuable clutch time minutes that could benefit him for years to come.

In the case of Randle eventually getting traded, Toppin will have even more opportunity to display his talent and show his value as a core building block for the team going forward.