Knicks Notes: Toppin, Randle, Rivers, Quickley

The Knicks are excited about lottery pick Obi Toppin, but there are concerns about his fit alongside Julius Randle, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. Both are natural power forwards, and many scouts tell Berman that Toppin doesn’t have the versatility to play small forward in the NBA.

“I think best case, they don’t play together that often and you share the 48 power-forward minutes,’’ former NBA scout Bryan Oringher said. “You can get away with each of them as a small-ball 5 for a few minutes a game, but I really don’t think either can play the 3. As centers, they are obviously undersized, and your rim protection will be pretty porous.’’

Randle is headed into the final fully guaranteed year of the contract he signed last summer. He would eat up $4MM in cap space if the Knicks cut him loose before the 2021/22 season, so there’s incentive to trade him before then and let Toppin become the starter at power forward.

There’s more from New York:

  • The Knicks’ point guard situation may be even more muddled than it was last season, contends Greg Joyce of The New York Post. Elfrid Payton, Frank Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr., who shared the job a year ago, are all still with the team, as well as free agent addition Austin Rivers and first-round pick Immanuel Quickley. New York missed out on free agent targets Fred VanVleet and D.J. Augustin.
  • Rivers’ new deal will pay him $3.5MM this season, $3.3MM is 2021/22 and $3.15MM in 2022/23, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. The second and third years won’t become guaranteed until seven days after the final day of the moratorium for each season.
  • In a lengthy interview, Quickley talks to Steve Serby of The New York Post about his experiences at Kentucky and his hopes for the NBA. “My whole life I wasn’t ranked,” Quickley said. “I had just gotten ranked like my junior and senior year. And then I come into Kentucky, people don’t believe that I’m gonna be good enough to be able to … I’m not the quote unquote usual Kentucky player like John Wall or De’Aaron Fox or something like that. But I still came in and had success. And then I think it’s a lot of people that still doubt me coming into the league, don’t think I can play point guard, don’t think I’m strong enough or things like that, so just always trying to prove the doubters wrong and prove myself right.”
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33 thoughts on “Knicks Notes: Toppin, Randle, Rivers, Quickley

  1. Sillivan

    New York is world capital
    Knicks are the biggest market in the nba
    They are supposed to be top 5 team

    • MarlinsFanBase

      Nobody cares.

      NBA has done fine with the Knicks sucking and unable to attract real superstars.

  2. dodgersvictoryagain

    It’s better for basketball when they are good. It’s been forever since. Feel for ya Knick fans

    • MarlinsFanBase

      I’ve been okay while they’ve sucked.

      Thinking the world rotates around NY is an antiquated concept. Every state has major metropolitan cities.

  3. Sillivan

    None of 5 point guards and two forwards are playmakers
    Knicks are the worst offensive team in the nba

    • The Human Rain Delay

      The Knicks “arc” has nothing to do with 2021’s record- In fact the better they are this year the more counter- intuitive it is to the plan –

      Its a pretty short list-

      1- Deal Randle for anything expiring
      2- Lose
      3- Enjoy the 3 1st Rd picks in 21 (Your own probably being a top 8)

        • andremets

          I think the article is implying that the Knicks can save $4 million of 21-22 cap space if they deal Randle before the trading deadline for an expiring contract. Personally, I wouldn’t care. It’s not like they have they amazing free agent plans that needs every cent they can scrap up. Knicks are at LEAST Two years away from contending (prob 3-4 years) so any move to clear Randel’s buyout cost sounds extremely shortsighted to me.

      • And where are they going the third pick from in the first round? Theirs, Dallas,…?

        • The Human Rain Delay

          Sorry misread – The 3rd potential pick was a pick swap with Clips although that will prolly be void –

          They do have those 2 extra 2nds tho for trade up value if ness so 2 1st 2nds total (theirown 2nd outgoing to PHilly)

  4. The Human Rain Delay

    They will find a deal for Randle – They have to keep his value up before the break –
    If it comes at the expense of a couple early Toppin mins I wouldnt be alarmed – Just as much can be learned in those courtside seats on the bn as on the floor for most rooks – Post break/deal they can stretch his wings a little –
    I think NY has made the right call folding this year. Its a small arrow but its pointing up for the Knicks right now

    • KnickerbockerAl

      Exactly they have to bring value up of. Randle, Payton, Smith, Nttilikina, Knox all young talent. Either to trade them or keep them. Randle is definitely gone. Toppin much better fit and chemistry with RJ and Mitch.

      • buttholesurfer69 2

        I agree on Knox and Randle

        But honesty I’d be fine going with Quickley and Rivers at PG and just cutting bait on DSJ and Frank

      • The Human Rain Delay

        Yea I think it will be a tale of 2 halves –

        1st half- get a little somethin in trade value for any pieces ya can (Randle)

        2nd – Pure evaluation on the youngsters

  5. Wasn’t crazy about the Toppin pick. But if it ushers Randle out of town sooner vs later, I’ll warm to it. He’s not a PF really, but as long as he’s here and sharing the PF minutes with Toppin, he’ll at least make Toppin feel good about his defense.

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    Berman is so inept. He thinks he’ll get more pub by talking about Knicks. He doesn’t even deal in facts anymore. Randle and Toppin won’t play together. They play the same position. Randle is gone. And the PG will be settled by trades too. The media in NY is part of the problem. Facts are this rebuild has never been approved in NY. Not by ownership not by coaches or media. It took Phil Jackson to start it. But even he wasn’t allowed to finish. Fizdale was a disaster. Thank god they fixed that quick. So it’s Thibs job now. I believe they are all on the same page now. Cause the fact they didn’t throw money away on FA and trades. Tells you there is sanity and a plan. Knicks have 40 mill coming off books next yr. Plus two #1 picks and three 2nd rd picks. Which means trades, picks, and 2021 FA. This yr is about finding the right young talent. We are the youngest team in NBA. Only 3 untouchables PF – Toppin (22), SG – RJ (20), C – Mitch (21). All others will have to earn it under Thibs. Only one more yr to see true direction of this team. And remember next yr is a deep draft and deep FA. And we got cap space and draft picks and expiring contracts. The glass is half full so enjoy the rebuild

    • Itsmantonio

      Wow! Finally someone who knows what they’re talking about. I hate hearing, every year, “build through the draft, patience” but then get pissed when the blockbuster Westbrook or Paul trade doesn’t happen. This is spot on my friend. Thank you for sharing your insight.

    • Lionel Muggeridge

      The biggest problem is the media and old timers thinking the Knicks are a big market team still. No one wants to play there. They haven’t been good for 20 years

    • dust44

      I agree as well. Except for I think Quickley is also untouchable as of now. That could change. But I think they really need his D in the backcourt with RJ. U can get away with having a poor defender at one wing if ur PG or other wing can lock down. And Quickley sure can. He’s proved that at UK and most of the UK guys actually elevate there Offense in the league because they r asked to play a specific role there because they r all capable of more and to win and get drafted they play to there strengths. I wouldn’t b surprised to c him as a Bledsoe type that can shoot in the league.

    • Totally agree. Only the media and non-knowledgable fans drum up short term fixes. Media does it to generate news under pretense that NY has no patience. Any true knick fan I speak with wants lasting long term growth and not bandaids. For first time in many decades, knicks being smart. Don’t love Toppin pick as I believe championships start with defense and I would only pick good 2-way players. don’t care how much he cries on national tv and being from NY. Cry because you only play on one side of the court and haven’t worked hard on the defensive side (Walt Frazier – “Defense is about effort”). Other than this, Knicks made lots of good moves by staying pat and not making desperate moves. Future looks bright as long as Media stays true to the lasting rebuild and Knicks management doesn’t give in to Stupidity. For now, we are on the right track.

    • hiflew

      I think he was the understudy to Rudolph. He was going to get the call, but then the producers figured out that Rudolph’s red nose was natural and not just him being drunk.

      Man, I need sleep.

  7. brewpackbuckbadg

    “The second and third years won’t become guaranteed until seven days after the final day of the moratorium for each season”

    Should this be “for the previous season” instead of each? Can you explain further?

    • 4Quarters

      Moratorium is the period right after the new season begins, and right before free agents can sign new deals. July 1-9 last season, Nov. 20-22 this season.

      So I’m guessing July 16ish of 2021 & 2022. If he’s not cut by July 16, 2021 his money for 2021-2022 is guaranteed, rinse & repeat in 2022.

  8. Cowboy Dan

    Knox needs another full upportunity to take the 3 slot. When confident and proper spacing he is a decently effective 3 point shooter and shows offensive skill. Defensively he did better this season versus last but I suspect it’s a confidence thing same with Ntililikina. They have the right coach to properly teach poise and hard work and give them that dog mentality.

    Rivers will/should play the 2.

    Trade Dennis smith/randle and play Ignas more. He will surprise with some consistent minutes and a consistent and coherent offensive/defensive gameplan and lessons/practices.

    I hope this is the season that breaks out for Frank. For those that like him I think it’s hose glimpses that keep you rooting for him and believing in him and his instincts are an auto love for true ballplayers/viewers. I feel like these moments happened more frequently last season. I hope/expect for Tom to see what I see and take him under his wing.

  9. I love iggy but he is not yet ready to play in the nba and maybe he will never be. He is an amazing scorer but he is too slow for a wing and too light to play backup at the 4. He is probably going to end up in europe balling out in some minor league before coming back as a stretch for after working for a few years in his body and footwork.

  10. Ant1485

    For this article I would revamp the backcourt
    Get ball for a 2021 macs pick and threw in Payton. Trade Randall and DSJ for dipo and get Monte Morris’s for a 21 or 22 second round pick
    Ball and dipo would start with Morris’s and frank or Quiggley coming off the bench Quiggley and rivers can battle it out for the 5th guard spot. Still too many guards.
    The can move to Sf. Knox can split time between sf and PF with obj starting at PF. Btw trading Randall weakens the PF spot. I bet he was used improperly. MKG will play the 4 at backup I do believe that Iggy can make this team as a Sf.

    If the Knicks really want to rebuild then they can go with the current team get in the lottery again and see if they can get Cade Cunningham who is a game changer. Next year draft is guard heavy so the Knicks should be able to fill the voids

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