Taj Gibson
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

During the first night of free agency, the New York Knicks added some veteran leadership when they signed Taj Gibson.

Geoffrey Campbell

New broke shortly after the Julius Randle signing, when, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the New York Knicks reportedly signed 11-year veteran Taj Gibson to a two-year, $20 million deal.

Gibson, 33, will most likely spend time at the four and five positions. At 6-foot-9, and 235 pounds, Gibson is still considered, a tough, defensive-minded forward who will hopefully have a positive effect on Mitchell Robinson. The USC product and Brooklyn native spent last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he averaged 10.8 points and 6.5 rebounds in 70 games.

With the Timberwolves, Gibson was an efficient scorer, averaging almost the same production as a starter and a reserve. Gibson also shot 11-for-34 from three during the 2018-2019 season. The percentage and sample size won’t inspire confidence, but rest assured that head coach David Fizdale will give him the green light. Gibson can fill some of Enes Kanter’s production from last season, without being a glaring liability on the defensive end.

However, Gibson also joins a crowded frontcourt that currently includes both the aforementioned Randle and Robinson, as well as new Knick Bobby Portis.

Some believe that Kevin Knox will also spend time at the four, which begs the question, how will coach Fiz and his staff keep these players, happy, engaged, and receiving consistent minutes? This will certainly be one of the top storylines for the 2018-2019 season.

On the surface, Knicks fans can’t help but be disappointed. Even if you were wary of signing Kevin Durant to a long-term deal, losing two of the top three free agents to the Brooklyn Nets just doesn’t look good, any way you slice it. At this point, you root for the kids to develop and hope a real culture and identity is formed by the next time the Knicks have the chance to add a difference maker.

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