The deal gives Toppin an opportunity to play a more significant role in Indiana and stacks up more draft assets for New York.
Toppin, 25, was selected with the eighth overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft and averaged 7.4 points and 2.8 rebounds last season, his third in the league. The 6-foot-9 forward has shown flashes of potential throughout his career but has struggled to get consistent minutes on a Knicks team focused on winning in the immediate future.
Toppin had his best game of last season against the Pacers in the regular-season finale, after starting the final five games following Julius Randle ‘s sprained ankle. Toppin scored a season-high 34 points and tied his season-best with seven rebounds in that loss.
Toppin’s $6.8 million salary will go into the Pacers’ cap space while New York creates a $6.8 million trade exception, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Toppin is eligible to sign a rookie extension until Oct. 23.
The trade can’t be completed until Thursday, when teams can officially sign free agents.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Sources – Knicks trading forward Obi Toppin to Pacers