At first, a big chunk of the fanbase was calling for the Knicks to draft the former Iowa State Cyclone, Tyrese Haliburton.
While he’s been forced to play more of an off-ball role, at the time, the Knicks needed offensive creation badly so ‘Hali’ could have been the point guard the team had been yearning for.
Turned out, Haliburton probably would have been the better of the two picks but there’s no sense crying over spilled milk.
Once we all became ‘okay’ with the idea of Obi being our guy, considering he’d likely be Julius Randle’s predecessor, at the very least he provided us with a bit of hope for the future.
Then…the first week or so of the NBA season came and went.
Julius was now playing at an All-Star caliber level and became a cornerstone of the roster seemingly overnight.
Would you want the NY Knicks to trade Obi Toppin?
This meant that Obi would have some trouble finding ample playing time moving forward.
Unfortunately, the kid just isn’t nimble or agile enough to play much Small Forward, and not really big enough to get much burn at the 5, so really…the only spot for him is right where he’s been since he was drafted.
Playing second-fiddle behind Julius Randle and collecting the scraps of minutes he can find here and there.
Julius Randle led the entire league in minutes per game last season, averaging just under 38 per game.
We all hope Coach Thibs will lighten the load a bit this year as it did seem like Julius was burnt out come playoff time.
But even if he does reduce his minutes, I’d have to guess it wouldn’t be by too much because, at the end of the day, Thibs is gonna Thibs.
If I had to bet a dollar on it, I’d say Randle finishes the season at roughly 34 to 35 minutes per game.
So that means an extra 3 or 4 minutes a night for Obi, which would amount to just 14-15 minutes per contest.
Frankly, the kid deserves more, especially considering he’s a former Top 10 pick from just a year ago.
His fit with this team’s long-term future is questionable so here we’ll explore 3 trades that would both benefit the Knicks’ immediate future AND puts Obi in a position where he can find a more substantial role in another team’s rotation.