The Knicks have picked up the fourth-year option on Obi Toppin’s deal, which will keep him under contract through the remainder of next season.
New York made the move (first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN) days ahead of the Oct. 31 deadline to exercise their team option on contracts, and will pay Toppin just over $6.8 millions dollars next season, barring a trade involving the young power forward.
Toppin came to the Knicks as the eighth overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft out of Dayton, and has become a fan-favorite ever since.
For his career, Toppin has averaged 6.8 points, 0.8 assists and 3 rebounds over 14.3 minutes per game. He has improved significantly in his time in the NBA, and shown potential to become a serious contributor in the pros when he’s been given the chance.
Still, those opportunities have been few-and-far-between at times, as his size and skill set overlap considerably with fellow power forward Julius Randle, who has been in the starting lineup since Toppin joined the league.
“It’s based on performance, who fits best together,” said head coach Tom Thibodeau of the logjam at power forward. “It’s not fantasy basketball, it’s what makes the group work best.”
Still, Thibodeau has gone out of his way early this season to praise Toppin, and highlighted the energy he brings to both ends of the court.
“You get energy from him every day, he’s always high energy. I think that’s contagious. The body language is telling you something. He’s a breath of fresh air,” the coach said. “He’s worked hard at [defense], there’s still a ways to go, but he’s made great strides.”
Now that the team has picked up Toppin’s fourth-year option, they will face a similar decision this week on the options for Immanuel Quickley and Quinten Grimes.
With both players on their rookie deals, it is likely that the Knicks will also pick up their options, as neither of their salaries are very high, compared to other NBA contracts.
New York has a plethora of talented young players that are currently relegated to the bench, as well as tons of upcoming draft picks, so fans can expect that they will be linked to several different trades this season and next offseason.