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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Julius Randle, NY Knicks
Julius Randle, NY Knicks (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The Knicks are in win-now mode

It feels weird to say, but the New York Knicks are running a functional basketball team.

The team has done much more winning than anyone anticipated they’d be doing. With Julius Randle becoming an all-star, RJ Barrett ascending towards that status, and the Knicks forming a solid supporting cast and stellar coaching staff, the organization’s future looks brighter by the day.

For The Knicks to return to respectability and become a perennial playoff team, they need to set big goals and continue to make winning moves. The Knicks are no longer rebuilding. The road to getting to the next level is already being traveled.

Therefore, the organization will have several different paths towards building a better team, one of them of course being through trades.

New York has long been in the conversation for a team that looks to one day land a blockbuster trade, one like the Carmelo Anthony deal, but without the complete annihilation of all assets. The Knicks have a ton of great assets right now that can potentially be packaged to land stars like Bradley Beal, Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker, and others.

Obi Toppin is one of those assets.

As mentioned, Toppin still holds a lot of promise. Even if his original ceiling of becoming a star himself is no longer realistic, he still can be a talent that can help garner a higher-caliber player. Toppin can even be moved in a deal that helps New York solve potential problems such as a need to add depth or skill to the roster. Toppin may even be moved in a deal to acquire players or picks that are flipped for an even better return.

Sometimes, there just isn’t room on an NBA roster for young prospects. The Knicks may one day need the space that Obi Toppin currently occupies if they want to improve. Toppin is simply not the type of player you hold onto when an offer is on the table that will quickly pay off.

None of this is to say that Obi Toppin can’t one day play a meaningful role on a more successful Knicks team. However, the facts currently heavily favor a Toppin trade so that The Knicks can evolve as a team. Toppin also wouldn’t deserve to have his talents limited in a reduced role as his playing career continues.

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