Knicks forward Obi Toppin had an underwhelming rookie season after being selected with the No. 8 pick in last year’s draft. The former Dayton standout played just 11.0 minutes per game, averaging 4.1 PPG and 2.2 RPG on 49.8% shooting.
However, Toppin is determined to take a major step forward in his second NBA season, and views participating in the pre-Olympics training camp as part of the U.S. Select Team as an important part of that process, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post.
“The message, (the coaches) told me coming here is just be a sponge,” Toppin said on Wednesday from Las Vegas. “There’s great coaches and players out here and just get better and develop my game. I’m working really hard in this offseason to be better for my second season coming up. It’s going be a lot different than the first season.
“I was super excited to have opportunity to come out here work out with these guys,” Toppin added. “It’s the best players in the world on this Olympic team. Having the opportunity to learn under the coaches here and playing with these players, I’m learning a lot and I’m going to translate it into my game for the upcoming season.”
Here’s more from around the Atlantic:
- Over at The Athletic, Derek Bodner and Rich Hofmann provide an in-depth primer for the Sixers‘ offseason, Mike Vorkunov and John Hollinger preview what’s ahead this summer for the Knicks, and Blake Murphy identifies six guards the Raptors could consider selecting with one of their two second-round picks (Nos. 46 and 47).
- Speaking of those two Raptors second-rounders, Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca suggests (via Twitter) that most of the prospects Toronto has worked out so far in the pre-draft process are either candidates for those picks or potential UDFA targets. The lottery prospects who could be in play at No. 4 figure to start coming through next week, per Lewenberg.
- Morgan State forward Troy Baxter Jr. is drawing interest from a handful of Atlantic clubs. He has already worked out for the Celtics and Nets and is auditioning for the Knicks later this week, he said on Wednesday (Twitter link via Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington).