Should Knicks trade Obi Toppin during the offseason?

Obi Toppin, New York Knicks. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Obi Toppin, New York Knicks. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

Second-year power forward Obi Toppin is one of the most electrifying players on the New York Knicks roster this season. The athletic big man has thrown down many memorable dunks that have made Knicks fans in Madison Square Garden erupt with excitement.

Other than the flashy dunks, Toppin hasn’t really shown that there is much more to his game. The 23-year-old has failed to prove that he can consistently knock down jump shots.

This upcoming offseason the Knicks should trade Toppin. New York has a log-jam at the power forward position. In addition, when Toppin started a few games for the Knicks earlier in the season, it wasn’t pretty.

With all that being said, other teams around the league would definitely be interested in trading for the Brooklyn native. The Knicks could use Toppin in a trade package to gain more assets.

Analyzing Obi Toppin’s jump shot struggles with the New York Knicks

The NBA’s 2022 Dunk Contest Champion has struggled to hit three-point and mid-range shots. To be a successful forward in today’s league (and in general), you need to be able to capitalize on scoring opportunities outside of the post.

Opposing defenses frequently let Toppin shoot open 3-pointers because of his inability to knock them down at a high rate. Toppin is currently shooting 22.4% from the arc this season.

The reason Toppin has not received much playing time is because of his lack of shooting. New York starting power forward Julius Randle is a much more effective three-point shooter than Toppin.

The Knicks also traded for Cam Reddish recently and he is more than capable of playing the four position. He’s only 22-years-old and has a lot more to his game in comparison to Toppin, who’s only a year older than the former Hawk.

Reddish is also a much better three-point shooter, as he has knocked them down at a rate of 36% this season.

Obi Toppin isn’t a reliable starter for the New York Knicks

Earlier in the season, Toppin slid into the starting lineup because of Julius Randle’s absence. In those two games he averaged:

  • 36.3 minutes per game
  • 12.0 points per game
  • 6.5 rebounds per game
  • 20% 3-point percentage

The best role for Toppin on this team is the one he’s currently in. He’s much better off the bench because of the energy he brings into the game and because he’s able to play against opposing teams’ second units. Once he’s out on the court for an extended period of time, things start to get messy.

New York fans have been lobbying for Toppin to get more minutes all season long, but maybe Tom Thibodeau knows something others don’t. Many fans expected more from those two starts, especially with the number of minutes he received in those two games.

Is Obi Toppin a good trade candidate for the NY Knicks?

Other teams around the league could very well be interested in trading for Toppin. Knicks fans have certainly noticed his flaws but that doesn’t mean that he lacks value.

The good areas of Toppin’s game are highlighted much more than the bad areas. He can finish at the rim with ease and is a dangerous lob threat when on the court. Toppin was also selected to the USA Men’s Basketball Select Team, proving that other basketball minds around the league see something in him.

The best time for New York to trade Toppin might be during the offseason while other teams still see potential in him. Fans have been waiting for the Knicks to find a superstar via either free agency or trade. Maybe New York can trade for its long-awaited star and perhaps Toppin could be the trade piece that gets it done.