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Tom Thibodeau hints at possible drastic move on Knicks rookie Obi Toppin

Obi Toppin Knicks Tom Thibodeau

Obi Toppin has struggled to find a consistent role for the New York Knicks in his rookie season and he could be headed toward the bench soon. With the Knicks looking to put together a rotation that secures them a spot in the playoffs, Tom Thibodeau is hinting at benching Toppin.

“We’ll see how it goes,” Thibodeau said after the Knicks blew out the Wizards, 131-113, via the New York Post’s Marc Berman. “It’s not unusual for rookies to go through things like this. We just want him to continue to work. He’s been real good in practice. He’s actually played very well in practice. He just has to continue to work. He’ll learn, he’ll grow. He’ll get better.”

During Tuesday’s lopsided win over the Washington Wizards, Toppin logged only eight minutes and has his fifth straight scoreless outing. Toppin has been a minus-34 in the past five games for New York as he’s missed all eight of his shot attempts in that span.

In recent games, Toppin has seen his minutes diminish as he continues to improve his game. But while Toppin needs some time to work at his craft, Kevin Knox could see some minutes for the Knicks moving forward. Though, Knox has had his name mentioned in trade talks ahead of Thursday’s deadline.

Throughout his rookie season, Toppin hasn’t looked like he was worth the No. 8 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, with the NBA Dunk Contest being the highlight of his first year. However, Toppin deserves some time to work out the kinks in his game, especially with it being an unusual rookie season for the Dayton product. With that being said, Thibodeau is poised to make an alteration to his rotation soon that includes removing Toppin entirely.