In the same offseason, the New York Knicks traded Obi Toppin and signed his younger brother, Jacob Toppin, to a two-way contract. New York signed Jacob after he went undrafted in June, and his work throughout preseason earned him one of the team's three two ways.
Westchester, New York's G League affiliate, started its season less than two weeks ago. In the team's fifth game of 2023-24 on Monday, Jacob stole the show with 37 points (10-of-17 from the field and 4-of-9 from three) and 10 rebounds.
In what was an otherwise discouraging night for the Knicks, who lost by 17 to the Timberwolves, Westchester pulled out a 125-101 win over Raptors 905.
Westchester finished with a poor 9-23 record last year and missed the playoffs entirely. It's still early in the season, but the Knicks look much improved as the team is averaging 123.2 points per game (fourth-best in the league) and are shooting an average of 50.4% from the field, second to the Santa Cruz Warriors.
Jacob Toppin leads Westchester Knicks to win with dominant 37-point performance
Tom Thibodeau has spoken highly of Jacob Toppin, and was impressed with his defensive intensity throughout training camp and preseason. That's a trait he doesn't share with his brother.
In Jacob's first preseason game for the Knicks, he played only 10 minutes but still managed to be all over the floor.
The 23-year-old was initially on an Exhibit 10 deal entering training camp, but New York saw enough in him to make a series of two-way contract moves to ensure that Jacob had a spot. As a rookie, he'll spend most of his time in Westchester prioritizing his development.
Along with Jacob, Duane Washington Jr. and Charlie Brown Jr. are New York's other two players on two-way contracts. Jaylen Martin, Brandon Goodwin, and Isaiah Roby are also with the Knicks' G League affiliate. The talent is there.
If Jacob Toppin's 37-point game wasn't enough to sway Knicks fans to catch at least one game in Westchester, nothing will!
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