Wizards Taj Gibson signing brings much needed veteran presence

Taj Gibson #67 of the New York Knicks, Washington Wizards. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
Taj Gibson #67 of the New York Knicks, Washington Wizards. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

The Washington Wizards added a much-needed piece to their roster Saturday afternoon. According to Shams Charania, veteran big man Taj Gibson plans on signing with Washington once he clears waivers.

Gibson spent the last three seasons with the New York Knicks. Playing under Tom Thibodeau has been a theme in his career, as the Knicks were the third different franchise the two have been with at the same time. The other two were the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Chicago Bulls.

If there is one thing we know about Thibs, it’s that defense matters most. His relationship and the value he has seen in Gibson over the years speaks loudly to what kind of a presence the Wizards are bringing in by signing the veteran big.

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Taj Gibson Brings Defensive Mentality, Veteran Leadership to Wizards

Taj Gibson is a 14-year veteran that has played every role you could ask of a player. He has played in 896 regular-season games and started 447 of those. At this point in his career, and considering the Wizards roster, Gibson isn’t going to be starting games unless there are major injury issues.

With Kristaps Porzingis’s injury history and some of the Wizards bad luck, it’s not that hard to see a scenario where Gibson needs to slot in for a game or two. At the least, he will likely need to fill a big bench role on an occasional night.

Whatever the role is, and it will vary throughout the season, Gibson is still going to bring value every single day. His experience and proven solid play on both ends of the floor make him a great asset to the roster, especially the younger players.

Taj has played in 71 career playoff games. For a team looking to get to the playoffs and learn how to win on the fly, someone who has been there and done that brings incredible leadership.

Additionally, what a mentor he could be for players on the roster such as Rui Hachimura, Deni Avdija and Daniel Gafford, just to name a few. His basketball IQ is something that will help the young guys still learning the NBA game and growing into their potential.

Flying under the radar, though, is how this could help Bradley Beal. Beal re-upped on the supermax and we all have feelings about the No-Trade Clause he got in the contract, but Beal has made it clear he needs to prove himself as a winner moving forward.

That can’t be done without him growing as a leader. A consistent, strong presence like Gibson can not only help Beal build up the current locker room but also help him learn how to lead for years to come.

It’s not the flashy move fans want to see and isn’t going to add a bunch of wins to their record this year, but singing Taj Gibson was a savvy move by the front office. There’s a lot of work to still be done, but having him in the locker room and around the group can only be a positive.

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