1:51pm: The Wizards have officially re-signed Gibson, the team announced in a press release.
“Taj has earned his reputation as a consummate professional and loyal teammate,” Wizards general manager Will Dawkins said in a statement. “We look forward to him adding to the competitive atmosphere when we begin training camp next month.”
Gibson, 38, appeared in 49 games for Washington last season, averaging 3.4 points and 1.9 rebounds in 9.8 minutes per night. All of those figures were career lows, though the former first-round pick was a valued veteran presence in the Wizards’ locker room.
Given that the Wizards were already carrying 16 players on guaranteed contracts and revamped their front office this offseason, the odds seemed to be working against Gibson’s return. However, Washington isn’t especially deep in the frontcourt after trading away big man Kristaps Porzingis, so having a vet like Gibson on the bench could be a useful insurance policy.
It’s unclear at this point whether or not Gibson’s salary will be fully guaranteed. Many of the contracts being signed by veteran free agents at this stage of the offseason are either non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed, and the Wizards may not be eager to exacerbate their roster crunch by adding another guaranteed salary to their books. We’ll have to wait for additional details.
Assuming they all make the 15-man regular season roster, Gibson could end up vying with fellow centers Daniel Gafford and Mike Muscala for playing time at the five. His minimum-salary contract would pay him $3,196,448 for the 2023/24 season, while Washington would have a $2,019,706 cap charge.