Reports have emerged on Wednesday announcing the return of former Knickerbocker Taj Gibson to the New York Knicks on a standard one-year contract. Dylan Winder was waived to make room for Taj's arrival.
Taj Gibson is signing with the Knicks on a standard 1-year deal, agent Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports tells SNY. Gibson gives NYK depth in the wake of Mitchell Robinson’s ankle injury. This is Gibson's second stint with NYK. Organization highly values his leadership.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) December 13, 2023
When Mitchell Robinson went down with an ankle injury last Friday, there was some worry surrounding how the Knicks would fare without their incredibly productive center. Robinson, despite not having the kind of offensive game that some of the league’s greatest centers have, was arguably the team’s most indispensable player due to his dominant rebounding, and all the things he does on the defensive end. That being said, fans at least had some solace knowing that they could count on Isaiah Hartenstein, who has slowly but surely become known around the league as one of, if not the, best backup centers in the league. And on Monday, in their 136-130 victory against the Toronto Raptors, both Jericho Sims, who got the start, and the aforementioned Hartenstein filled in admirably.
But it seems like the Knicks and their front office still wanted to sure up their front line with some more depth.
Gibson, who has long been a favorite of head coach Tom Thibodeau, appeared in just 49 games last season and hasn’t played yet this season. He's now about to return to the hardwood donning the Orange and Blue.
Free agent F/C Taj Gibson is returning to the New York Knicks on a one-year deal, Mark Bartelstein of @PrioritySports tells ESPN. With Mitchell Robinson sidelined with an injury, Tom Thibodeau has back one of his favorites. Gibson’s played for Thibodeau with the Bulls, Wolves,… pic.twitter.com/TmVTe9G5wb— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 13, 2023
With Hartenstein coming off the bench and Sims starting on Monday, it will be interesting if this has any influence on the minute distribution and roles of the centers. Does it mean Gibson will take Sims’ minutes and role or will he just be coming in as an insurance policy? Does this slide Hartenstein back up? And can his very well-respected veteran presence positively impact the chemistry and locker room?
These are all answers we won’t know for sure, but regardless, it’s nice to see Gibson back.