Grading every New York Knicks first-round draft pick since 2013

RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
6 of 7
New York Knicks, Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin
Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, New York Knicks. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images) /

2020 NBA Draft: PF Obi Toppin, C-

At the time, this pick was made with the mindset that Julius Randle would be traded following his poor first season with the Knicks. Despite this, Randle balled out during Toppin’s rookie season and still remains on the team. This has caused Toppin to come off the bench for the majority of his career and it’s hurt his development drastically.

Alongside his lack of play, the way Toppin is utilized has undoubtedly stunted his progression in the league. Coming out of college, Toppin was looked at as an elite P&R lob threat with potential as a shooter. The Knicks and Tom Thibodeau took this information and have used Toppin as a catch-and-shoot player on the perimeter since he was drafted.

While Toppin hasn’t done himself any favors with his play, there’s no doubt that he’s a poor fit with the Knicks. This has led to many speculating that the 25-year-old will be traded this offseason and fans should be able to understand why. For other teams, Toppin is still an intriguing prospect for his age. Whenever put in the proper role, he has dominated, so it makes a lot of sense for another team to give up assets for Toppin.

Toppin has averaged 7.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.0 assists per game while shooting 49.2% from the field and 32.5% from three as a Knicks. While fans would love to see him stay, it’s best for his career and the Knicks’ contention hopes for him to be traded for a player that fits better with the team.

2020 NBA Draft: PG/SG Immanuel Quickley, A-

For being the 25th pick in the NBA Draft, Immanuel Quickley has had an incredible career thus far, although he struggled with consistency early on. The jump he made in 2022-23 has fans excited for what the future holds. Not only did Quickley finally put it all together offensively, but the leap he made defensively was unprecedented.

What makes this pick even better is that the Knicks didn’t even make the original selection. New York had the 22nd pick in this draft and selected Leandro Bolmaro. Then, in a trade with the Timberwolves, acquired Quickley in a swap for Bolmaro. Considering how well Quickley’s panned out thus far compared to Bolmaro, it’s clear to see who won the deal.

Quickley arguably should have won the Sixth Man of the Year award while playing at an All-Defensive Team level. The voters may not have recognized this, but there were more things going toward Quickley making an All-Defensive Team than there were going against him making one.

Through three seasons, Quickley has averaged 12.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game while shooting 41.6% from the field and 36.7% from deep on 5.2 attempts. While his numbers have been dragged down due to his rookie and sophomore seasons, what he accomplished in 2022-23 is more of what fans know Quickley for than anything else.

Entering the offseason, the Knicks and Quickley are looking to work together toward an extension to keep the 24-year-old in New York. Fans saw how impactful he was for the Knicks last season so hopefully Leon Rose can manage to keep Quickley around long-term.