The Knicks now have a serious hole in their rotation after power forward Obi Toppin suffered a leg injury, and will be “reevaluated” towards the end of the year.
With Toppin missing so much time, the team is left without one of their most important bench players.
“When he’s out there we just play faster. We play so much better,” said RJ Barrett, praising his fellow youngster.
Toppin suffered a fracture in his right fibula on Dec. 7.
One name that immediately became a topic of conversation in the NBA rumor mill after Topin’s injury was Carmelo Anthony.
The 38-year-old future Hall of Famer is currently a free agent, after he played last season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
It’s not clear whether the Syracuse product will ever get another shot in the NBA — but fans had been hoping that Toppin’s injury would give him the chance to return to Madison Square Garden.
Despite those hopes, reports suggest that the Knicks are not interested.
Anthony played in a Knicks uniform between 2012 and 2017, appearing in 385 games, where he averaged 24.6 points, 3.2 assists and 7 rebounds.
He led them to the second round of the playoffs in 2013.
Frustrations mounted towards the end of his tenure with the team, but he’s been warmly welcomed back to the Garden whenever he has arrived as a member of a visiting team.
That set the stage for a potential reunion — but it’s not to be, even despite him potentially being a solid fit to replace Toppin.
In the few games since they’ve lost the 24-year-old Brooklyn native, the team has opted to fill his minutes with other big men that traditionally play center — rather than opting for a small-ball lineup that has become popular in recent years in the NBA.
Isaiah Hartenstein and Jericho Sims have been among the beneficiaries of the loss in minutes stemming from Toppin’s hurt leg.
According to insiders, the Knicks are happy to continue with their mix-and-match approach to replace Toppin’s 17.1 minutes-per-game, rather than bring on an outsider like Anthony.