Knicks select Obi Toppin with No. 8 pick in 2020 NBA Draft

The 2020 NBA Draft was Wednesday night, and with their lottery-pick selection, the New York Knicks took Obi Toppin. The New York Post:

Dayton’s 6-foot-9 scoring forward fell to No. 8 on Wednesday night, and Knicks president Leon Rose pounced on the National College Player of the Year, whom he nearly traded up to get…

Toppin’s lone weakness is his fire on the defensive end, and the Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau is a defensive coach.

“I learned a lot about Coach through this pandemic,’’ Toppin said of Thibodeau. “I understand he’s a defensive coach, and that’s one of my biggest things I need to work on. He’s going to make sure that I lock in and make sure that I become great one day. I feel like if I get that defensive scheme down, I’m going to be a really good player one day, a really great player one day.’’ …

The 22-year-old Toppin is a Creative Artists Agency client, and Rose had hoped all along he would fall. Rose used to run CAA, and Toppin has been working out with Rose’s first client, Rick Brunson, in South Jersey. Toppin has been compared to Shawn Marion and Amar’e Stoudemire, for his explosiveness.

And the New York Times:

When Toppin first walked through the doors at Mt. Zion, he stood 6-foot-5, weighed about 185 pounds and had trouble getting the attention of the best A.A.U. teams in his area. Today he is 6-foot-9, weighs 220 pounds and is the holder of the 2020 John R. Wooden Award for college player of the year after he led the Flyers to a 29-2 record last season.

He shoots from long range and midrange, and slashes to the rim, and he is known to electrify audiences with his innovative and acrobatic dunks.

“I don’t rank his dunks,” said Anthony Grant, the head coach at Dayton, “but he will definitely excite a crowd with his explosiveness, variety and showmanship. He’s fun to watch; must-see TV.”

The Knicks are rebuilding, and hope that Toppin will emerge alongside shooting guard R.J. Barrett and forward/center Mitchell Robinson as a key young building block.

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