Why the New York Knicks Trading Obi Toppin Seems Inevitable

NY Knicks, Obi Toppin, Mitchell Robinson (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
NY Knicks, Obi Toppin, Mitchell Robinson (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /
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Obi Toppin, Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Obi Toppin has been underwhelming but remains promising

The second reason why Toppin can be traded is a double-edged sword.

On one hand, Toppin has struggled to acclimate his game to the NBA. This is despite being hailed as one of the most NBA-ready prospects of his draft.

The jump shot hasn’t been falling, but most importantly, he hasn’t been able to have much of an impact in games. Sure, there are plenty of reasons for this both fair and unfair to judge Toppin’s play on. his lack of playing time, a lack of playmakers on the roster, a hesitance to do just about anything but pass the ball as soon as he catches it, etc.

But one thing remains indisputable, Toppin frequently looks lost out on the floor. Rookies are allowed to struggle, but Toppin is 23 years old, a fossil as far as rookie players go.

If Toppin fails to be effective in his role, no matter how small that role is, it can be detrimental to a team whose timeline for winning has suddenly accelerated. If the Knicks want to be a winning basketball team now and for the years to come, they may need to leave Toppin behind, unable to wait for him to develop.

The other side of this argument is that for as much as Toppin has disappointed, there have been flashes of the player the New York front office thought they were getting out of Dayton.

Even with the fears surrounding his age, confidence, and skill level, I doubt too many teams wouldn’t still love to have Toppin be a big part of both their present and future.

I want to see Obi Toppin, a charismatic young kid, a supportive teammate, a disciplined student, and a born and bred New Yorker succeed in New York as a Knick. I think all Knick fans want that. However, if Toppin continues to struggle, his value will decrease.

Maybe the best scenario for both parties is to move on. The Knicks will have to consider trading Toppin before his value diminishes.