Kentucky basketball’s Jacob Toppin signs two-way contract with New York Knicks


Jack Weaver

Kentucky Wildcats forward Jacob Toppin (0) celebrates during the No. 6 Kentucky vs. No. 11 Providence mens basketball game in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, March 17, 2023, at Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina. Kentucky won 61-53. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Cole Parke, Sports Editor

Kentucky men’s basketball’s Jacob Toppin signed a two-way contract with the New York Knicks on Friday after going undrafted in the 2023 NBA Draft.

The Knicks, not having a draft pick in the 2023 Draft after losing out on the Mavericks’ No. 10 pick that eventually drafted teammate Cason Wallace, opted to add Toppin to a two-way deal, meaning he will sign a contract with both the Knicks and the Knicks’ G-League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks.

Toppin played three seasons in Lexington after transferring from Rhode Island, seeing the most success as a senior.

In the 2022-23 season Toppin played in 33 games for the Cats, starting in 31, and averaged 12.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

Toppin was also integral in earning the Wildcats their first NCAA Tournament win since 2019 when he defended and minimized Providence star and former teammate to Toppin Bryce Hopkins.
He was named Bluegrass Sports Commission’s MVP of the rivalry game between the Wildcats and Louisville.

After having a successful senior season in Lexington, Toppin opted to forgo his extra year of eligibility in Lexington and declared for the NBA Draft in March.

Though he was not selected, Toppin will reunite with his brother Obi in New York, where he will also join former Wildcats Julius Randle and Immanuel Quickley.