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.”