The Knicks are parting with veteran big man Taj Gibson, who spent the better part of the last three seasons in the twilight of his career in New York, to clear more cap space.
The New York Knicks are releasing veteran center/power forward Taj Gibson, per the team.
Knicks Waive Taj Gibson pic.twitter.com/HBoWlHaQSd
— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) July 8, 2022
Gibson, who turned 37 years old last week, first joined the Knicks in 2019 on a two-year deal with a partial guarantee in the second year. The Knicks brought back the Fort Greene, Brooklyn, native in January 2021, two weeks into the season, to reinform the frontcourt. New York later added Gibson ahead of the 2021–22 season in August of last year on a two-year, $10.1 million contract before waiving him today.
The Knicks signed centers Mitchell Robinson and Isaiah Hartenstein through the first two days of free agency last week before earlier this week agreeing with rising sophomore big man Jericho Sims on a new contract worth around $6 million over the next three years (previously, Sims was on a two-way deal).
Gibson was known as a steadfast Tom Thibodeau acolyte, following the defensive-minded coach from Chicago to Minnesota and, finally, to New York. Injuries to fellow centers Mitchell Robinson and Nerlens Noel unearthed more playing time at the 5 for the 6-foot-7 seasoned veteran Gibson.
In 159 regular-season appearances with the ‘Bockers, Gibson averaged 5.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, shooting 57.7% from the floor.
Gibson started his 13-year NBA career following a collegiate stint at USC as a first-round pick by the Bulls in 2009. He spent seven-plus seasons in the Windy City before joining Thibodeau’s Timberwolves in 2017. As a prelude to Thibodeau, with David Fizdale still in charge, Gibson joined the Knicks in 2019, playing host for when the Knicks would hire Thibs in 2020.
The Knicks had been gradually clearing players and cap space in order to sign Jalen Brunson, the Dallas Mavericks free-agent point guard who will sign a $104 million contract with New York. New York previously traded veterans Kemba Walker, Alec Burks, and Nerlens Noel to the Detroit Pistons (in two separate deals), peeling off over $30 million in salary cap and renounced the cap hold of Ryan Arcidiacono.
UPDATE: 5:31 a.m. ET.
Gibson plans to sign with the Washington Wizards after clearing waivers, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
»READ: NBA free agency primer: Knicks outlook and possible fits
»READ: How Knicks’ veterans can help develop the team’s youth