As team president Leon Rose prepares for his biggest night since he was hired in March, he may not solve the Knicks defender’s troubles with the No. 8 pick in Wednesday’s virtual project.
According to many sources, there is a growing buzz from the league that the Bulls, at number 4, will make a surprising choice that will have a domino effect and will slide Dayton, noting Obi Topin to Knicks at number 8. Anything is possible. This is 2020.
For months, Brooklyn-born Topin, 9 feet tall, was designed as a top 5 and out of Knicks range. But the Knicks still use one of their training sessions for the 22-year-old Dayton star, who is considered one of the most explosive goal scorers in a weak draft and one of the most prepared for the NBA lottery after two seasons in the Atlantic 1
Knicks really likes the potential to celebrate Toppin and – even better – he is represented by the Agency for Creative Artists, the company Rose, which he headed. League sources believe the CAA connection matters to Rose.
The only question is whether Topin is a strong enough defender for the taste of coach Tom Thibodeau.
“I think Leon will rely a lot on Tom,” said an NBA source. Is he an Tom-type Obi-player?
Even if Topin does not slip, this may not be the year to take a point guard to number 8 with so little time to complete before the training camp begins on December 1. French defender Killian Hayes intrigued the Knicks, but sources believe he will go to Pistons at number 7.
With the Knicks not looking high at Iowa’s Tyrese Haliburton, that leaves Kira Lewis, who is in position 8, but has an explosion. Knicks could trade back to take Lewis.
If the Knicks postpone taking a dealer – their most needed position – in the lottery, sources believe it will give Thibodeau more ammunition to push Russell Westbrook’s trade.
Two other wingers are in the mix because they are all defensive-minded – young Auburn striker Isaac Okoro and Florida State Guard Devin Wasel, a 3-and-D perspective.
To start, Vassel is also a CAA client and Knicks trained him in Atlanta.
Florida head coach Leonard Hamilton, who has known Perry for years, compared Vassel to Clay Thompson’s potential in an interview with The Post this week.
“We play like a lot of NBA teams,” Hamilton told The Post. “Spread the floor, lots of balls of screens. If you watch Devin play all year round, he doesn’t have the intensity that a lot of people have. It is in line with the defensive and offensive end. You look at him, he has that factor that he can’t put his finger on. He has that confidence and never shakes it. “
Ironically, the appearance of Wasel’s Florida teammate, Patrick Williams, could ruin Wasel’s alliance with the Knicks.
The Bulls may deviate from Denny Avija’s overseas project to take Williams to number 4. At number 5, the cavalry can take Avija, an Israeli striker, instead of keeping Topin in Ohio, as expected for some time. This will probably drag Toppin to number 8.
Toppin won numerous Player of the Year awards, averaging 20 points per game with 63 percent shooting.
“I spoke to the Knicks,” Topin said during a conversation about an increase in the NBA on Tuesday. “I had an interview with them. It went very well. They have a great organization. It would be great to go home, but there are many other teams in front of them that are also great. “
“I would be happy to be chosen from a place that suits me best. I’m going to a place where people will help me grow and improve and make sure that one day I will be great and be Hall of Fame and Player of the Year, MVP. “
If the Knicks go with a front or shooting guard at number 8, they will probably take a defender with the 27th choice received by the Clippers in a deal with Marcus Morris. They showed interest in the Frenchman Theo Maledon, who could be in Milwaukee at number 21, Tyrell Terry from Stanford and Malachi Flynn from the state of San Diego.
Knicks also chooses 38th. Rest assured, the three Knicks rookies have had their jobs terminated without a summer league or normal volunteer training a month before the training camp.
“All the teams told me how fast the process would go after the day of the project,” said Okoro of Auburn. “How the next day they just send you to where you’re going and how fast the process will go because training camp happens so fast.”
№ 8: If Obi Topin doesn’t slip, the Knicks will take the best player available – and the best defender – to Auburn striker Isaac Okoro.
№ 27: Theo Maledon is a cunning defender with more speed than Killian Hayes and he can have an immediate friend with the Frenchman Frank Ntilicina.