Report: Taj Gibson seeks larger role with Wizards after Knicks waive him

Mar 10, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards center Thomas Bryant (13) and New York Knicks center Taj Gibson (67) battle for a loose ball in the first quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Once the New York Knicks converted Jericho Sims’ two-way deal into a standard NBA contract, it was clear to Taj Gibson he was the odd (big) man out.

The 37-year-old Gibson will not return next season after the Knicks waived him Friday. Gibson reportedly will sign with the Washington Wizards when he clears waivers, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Knicks reportedly wanted to bring back Gibson on a veteran minimum contract, per SNY’s Ian Begley. But with the Knicks firmly set with their center rotation, Gibson apparently sought a larger role that the Wizards could offer.

Gibson, who averaged 4.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in 52 games with the Knicks last season, will be the Wizards’ third-string center behind Kristaps Porzingis and Daniel Gafford.

Sims will likely take Gibson’s “break-the-glass-in-case-of-emergency” role under Tom Thibodeau. Mitchell Robinson, who agreed to return on a $60 million, four-year deal, is penciled to start with free-agent pickup Isaiah Hartenstein backing him up.

The Knicks cleared Gibson’s $5.15 million non-guaranteed salary, and this could mean they will sign Jalen Brunson using cap space, eliminating a sign-and-trade with the Dallas Mavericks.

Gibson’s departure leaves former MVP and fellow Thibodeau lifer Derrick Rose as the only player on the Knicks roster above 30.

The Knicks have also renounced guard Ryan Arcidiacono, leaving two more roster spots open.

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