Knicks Waive Omari Spellman, Sign Taj Gibson

9:59pm: The Knicks officially announced in a press release that they’ve waived Spellman. The signing of Gibson is also official, per NBA.com’s transactions log.


1:46 pm: The Knicks are waiving big man Omari Spellman to clear room to sign a veteran free agent, reports Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link). According to Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter), the club plans to sign Taj Gibson to fill its newly-opened roster spot.

As we detailed earlier today, the Knicks were said to be one of many teams keeping an eye on Gibson, who reportedly worked out for seven clubs, including the Wizards. With Obi Toppin, Nerlens Noel, and Spellman all battling injuries, New York had been monitoring the free agent market for help in the frontcourt, eyeing Gibson and Tyson Chandler, among others.

While it’s not official yet, it sounds like the team will reunite with Gibson, who was a Knick in 2019/20 and has played for head coach Tom Thibodeau for much of his NBA career, including in both Chicago and Minnesota. It seems unlikely that Gibson’s new deal will be worth more than the minimum, but the Knicks – armed with $18MM in cap room – certainly have the flexibility to go higher.

Gibson, 35, started 56 of the 62 games he played for New York last season, averaging 6.1 PPG and 4.3 RPG in 16.5 minutes per contest. The club reportedly liked the job he did as a veteran mentor for young center Mitchell Robinson.

As for Spellman, the third-year big man came over from Minnesota in an offseason trade that sent Ed Davis to the Timberwolves. He was cited as a possible release candidate in December when the Knicks were mulling the possibility of retaining Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for the regular season, and also had his fourth-year team option for 2021/22 declined last month, so it comes as no surprise that he’ll be the odd man out.

Spellman, a former first-round pick who has struggled with conditioning during his NBA career, will still receive his $1.99MM salary for 2020/21, since his contract is fully guaranteed. Having declined his fourth-year option, the Knicks won’t be on the hook for any money beyond this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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27 thoughts on “Knicks Waive Omari Spellman, Sign Taj Gibson

    • Wade Herbers

      Most likely because Taj didn’t wanna go back and lose. Usually a two way street. Teams gotta want the player and the player needs to want to be a part of the team.

  1. Curtisrowe

    Gibson is a better choice for the Knicks right now, but I think Spellman still has a shot to be a rotation player if he just could lay off the cheeseburgers.

  2. harden (mvp),wall, and wood

    Spellman can go back to GS, they should cut Mychal Mulder (the truth is out there).

    • clarce1020

      Why should they cut Mulder? He’s got 3-D potential, is cheap and is showing flashes of being a decent rotation piece at a position of need. What they should really do is cut Smailagic. Doesn’t seem to make any sense cutting a potentially good shooter on a team that needs shooting for a 4th Center. They do need depth at Center with Looney’s injury history and Chriss being out, but cutting Mulder doesn’t make much sense.

      • hoopsaremylife

        smailiagic is injured and who knows when he will return he might as well end up like looney. they could trade mulder, poole, and looney for maybe kendrick nunn and/or maurcie harkless. two unwanted players from da heat. nunn could be a developing star and help with their shooting ofc. and for da heat it will just shore up their cap space deoending on if they wanna keep poole or mulder. maybe yes but as a third string point guard behind herro and dragic. dis trade opens up opportunities for kezie opala and brings the Dubs da shooting they need and harkless im pretty sure they let him go by season’s end more or less or use him as a wing behind wiggins for defense and rebounding. it will be awesome for da Dubs to finally get a chance to have a new look Nunn da one thye failed to pickup years ago.

    • macdaddy96

      Your rockets should pick Spellman up. Boogie’s shooting 33% and averaging less then 6 points a game. But but but…..

      • hoopsaremylife

        ikr dude is way past his prime and even worse doesnt even tried to defend. i like christian wood better as a center with da rockets even tho im not a fan of da rockets. but both of them are liabilities on defense but still woods stil young and ofc boogie is old

  3. GangGreen23

    Spellman needs to come back to the Warriors and join his Villanova buddy Paschall. Does any Dubs fan think Looney’s body will hold up for a full season? It never has before.

    • hoopsaremylife

      well dude’s more of a PG instead of a 5 since look at his rebounding and defense. he only shoots and dishes out assists. has talent but not much of athleticism like wisemen has. should trade him. maybe they could bring him back unles they trade looney or cut smagilic or something they got half of their frontcourt dealing with injuries

  4. Good move for the Knicks. Gibson was very solid for them last year, and he can likely step right in and play. They need that, since they have no healthy bigs beyond MR and Randle.

    • x%sure

      Never should have dropped him in the first place, tho they did well without him.

  5. Cap & Crunch

    Man TT running his teams like a sweat shop once again ! Gibson is tailor made for Tom

    One thing is for certain, they wont leave this year w/out a renewed sense of work ethic….and possibly arthritis !

    I wonder if they are floating around 500 40 games in if they try and upgrade via trade the PG position

    • KnickerbockerAl

      They came in this yr preparing to move players, I believe. Definitely looking for a starting PG. I’m not expecting anything. I’m all about the youth and the rebuild. They were always probably going to do something by TD. We have plenty of expiring contracts. But I agree if they are at .500 half way in. That could speed things up to look for a PG. Just bring in a young vet. I don’t want to go away from the rebuild.

  6. LexLegend

    Spellman has a place in the NBA. Hopefully he will be picked up by a good team.

  7. KnickerbockerAl

    We need bodies now. Taj is from NYC and loves Thibs. It works for me. We need Toppin back. Just don’t rush it.

  8. nentwigs

    Spellman can go back to the Timberpuppies now that KAT is stuck in the Litter Box.

  9. bronxboy28

    Spellman can go to the Knicks Westchester G league team and work himself into shape!

  10. KnickerbockerAl

    I’ve read a few stories, rumors. That Noel is upset with his contract. Saying he’s been pissed since he turned down 70 mill guaranteed from Mavs. Oh well !!
    I’ll tell you what. You’re lucky there are no fans. Or they would let you know what we think. Thibs ain’t putting up with that mess neither will fans. Play and earn a contract. This city knows how your gm is exactly. They will get you the money here or elsewhere. In the meantime STFU and earn your 5 mill. Mitch is still learning to stay on the floor. If not Noel we do need a backup C. I would have signed Whiteside for 3 yrs. Enough time for Mitch to grow into 34 mins a gm. I mean he signed for 1 yr at 2.4. Taj is solid bench big. But he’s more a 4.

  11. MarlinsFanBase

    So, Knicks drop a 22 year old scrub for a 34 year old scrub? That’s definitely a Knicks move combined with a Thibs move since it’s Gibson.

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