One of the more intriguing players of this past college basketball season was Obi Toppin, a forward out of Dayton.
Toppin won Naismith Player of the Year and was known for his highlight-reel plays. He was selected by the Knicks as the 8th Overall Pick in the NBA Draft and has been one of the few Knicks picks to get praise.
As a Knicks fan, I am not a fan of this pick and believe that Obi Toppin was not the right pick for the Knicks.
Toppin is a talented offensive player and has received praise for that. I do think he is a very talented inside scorer and an explosive dunker.
I think he is very effective in the fast break as he always throws down monster dunks. I think he is definitely a good mid-range scorer and reminds me a bit of LaMarcus Aldridge.
However, like Aldridge, he is a pretty mediocre shooter from outside. I think Toppin’s issue is that he got a lot of space at Dayton, and he will never get that type of room consistently in the NBA. A lot of his shots will be contested and he won’t get as many open looks as he usually does.
Additionally, the Knicks have poor spacing, thus there will be even more pressure on Toppin when he is outside the arc. If he was on a team like the Minnesota Timberwolves, I think his shooting would not be affected because of their good spacing.
He also is not great at creating his own shot, and the Knicks need someone who can do that. New York is not a great fit for Toppin offensively, but that isn’t even his biggest issue.
Toppin is not good defensively, as it is definitely his biggest weakness. Unlike his shooting, which could improve, his defense seems to be an issue that cannot be fixed. He is slow-footed and will get blown by faster forwards.
As the power forward position, which Toppin plays, gets quicker and more athletic, Toppin becomes more of a liability on defense. He’s also a pretty mediocre perimeter defender which is concerning considering more threes are being taken every year.
He also doesn’t seem to try on defense at times, which is unacceptable in the NBA.
Toppin is not a bust, and I don’t think he was guaranteed to do poorly on every team. However, The Knicks needed someone who could create their own shot or shoot off the catch, which Toppin can’t do very well.
Deni Avdija, Devin Vassell, or Kira Lewis were better fitted for the Knicks as they can shoot, create their own shot, or do both.
The Knicks had better options, yet they decided to get a player they did not need and has serious concerns about his fit with the team.
Photo Credit: Dayton Flyers