Rachel Maguire
Rachel Maguire
Author
3 min of reading
  • The New York Knicks have named Obi Toppin as the no. 8 overall pick in the NBA draft.
  • With their final pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Brooklyn selected shooting guard Jay scrubb.
  • Toppin is not large enough to play center and not nearly quick enough to function as a modern power forward on defense.

The New York Knicks have selected Obi Toppin as the No. 8 overall pick in the NBA Draft. With their final pick (No. 55 overall) in the 2020 NBA Draft, Brooklyn selected shooting guard Jay Scrubb.

Toppin, the consensus National Player of the Year after a stellar season at Dayton, is one of the lottery's more unusual prospects. He has not played for a college football team.

He will be among the oldest players selected in this class, he said. However, his success in Dayton speaks for itself, and unlike many college stars, at least some of Toppin's game should translate well to the NBA. Toppin is going to be an excellent pick-and-roll finisher even as a rookie thanks to his elite jumping ability and skill near the basket.

Because of that, he became a valuable offensive player. His chance to become a star lies on the rest of his promising offensive.

Last season, Toppin made 39 percent of his 3-pointers. He handles the ball well for a big man, and while his size could be a limitation against centers, he should thrive against mismatches off of switches.

He has drawn comparisons to Amar'e Stoudemire for a reason. Toppin has a chance to be the best offensive player in this class.

But the man will have to overcome his defensive shortcomings. Toppin is not large enough to play center and not nearly quick enough to function as a modern power forward on defense. He does not move much from side to side, he's often in the wrong place conceptually, and he's not very good at rebounding. Toppin's future depends on finding a way to at least play average defense. With his offensive advantages, that's all he needs.

That is especially true now that he will be paired with Mitchell Robinson, one of the best defensive big men in basketball. The Knicks added Stoudemire a decade ago and kicked off the best stretch of basketball this franchise has seen this century.

And now they have found a similar talent in Toppin. The Knicks may have plenty of power forwards, but Toppin should own the position for them moving forward. The Knicks obviously need a lot, but their fans will love him. They desperately want something they're excited about.

I wouldn't take him for the first time, but he shouldn't have gone this far, he should be a rookie of the year.

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