The Knicks agreed to re-sign veteran free-agent big man Taj Gibson on a one-year contract during day two of NBA free agency.
After agreeing to three-year deals with several veteran free agents yesterday, the New York Knicks are bringing back forward/center Taj Gibson.
According to SNY’s Ian Begley, Gibson agreed to a one-year, $2.7 million contract with the Knicks to return.
Taj Gibson has agreed to a one-year, $2.7 million deal to return to the Knicks, Mark Bartelstein of @PrioritySports tells SNY.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) August 3, 2021
The Knicks re-signed guards Alec Burks and Derrick Rose and center Nerlens Noel all to three-year deals, losing three-point marksman Reggie Bullock to the Dallas Mavericks. In Bullock’s stead, New York is bringing in Team France’s current hero Evan Fournier, the veteran wing who last played for the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic in 2020–21.
The Brooklyn native Gibson, 36, first signed with his hometown team in July of 2019 to a two-year contract with the second year as a team option. After the team option was declined in November 2020, the Knicks brought back Gibson midseason in 2020–21 following the initial injury sidelining starting center Mitchell Robinson.
With Robinson down, Noel grew into a fine defense-first center for the Knicks with Gibson backing up the former Dallas big. While Robinson had his team option picked up by the Knicks last weekend, the rising fourth-year shot-blocking ace will be a free agent next summer. With Noel paid $32 million over three years, it should be interesting to see whether Robinson is with the Knicks or not by next summer.
Gibson averaged 5.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in 20.8 minutes per game the past season, appearing in 45 games and shooting 62.7% from the field and 20.0% from three.
The Knicks still have roughly $7 million in cap space, and that’s before possibly waiving Argentinian guard Luca Vildoza, who signed a nonguaranteed deal close to the end of last season.
Gibson’s return also muddles up rising second-year power forward Obi Toppin, who flourished in New York’s five-game first-round series loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the playoffs. With long-term money for Noel, Robinson expected to receive a multi-year deal, Randle clearly deserving of an extension following his All-Star campaign, and now Taj Gibson returning, Toppin will be chasing few minutes as they come. Toppin showed promise as a 5 sharing the court with Randle, allowing the then-rookie from Dayton to offer the Knicks verticality on offense.
While there may be more moves coming, the Gibson signing inches the Knicks closer to finishing NBA free agency largely in the same place as they started; new deals were handed out to the vets that helped them get back to the postseason, with Bullock headed to Texas and general manager Scott Perry getting his guy in Fournier following their shared tenure together in Orlando.
UPDATE: 2:34 p.m. ET, 8/17.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Knicks have restructured Gibson’s new contract, agreeing to a two-year, $10.1 million deal.
Taj Gibson's deal with the Knicks has been restructured, agent Mark Bartelstein of @PrioritySports tells ESPN: Gibson will now sign a two-year, $10.1M deal to return to New York. He had originally agreed to a one-year deal.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 17, 2021