Taj Gibson

Contract Details: Morris, Gibson, Boban, Forrest, Millner

Markieff Morris‘ new contract with the Mavericks is a one-year, minimum-salary deal that is partially guaranteed, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, who tweets that Morris received a $200K guarantee.

The agreement doesn’t include any early salary guarantee dates prior to the league-wide salary guarantee date in January, so Morris will have to remain under contract beyond January 7 in order to earn his full $3,196,448 salary. If it becomes guaranteed, it will count for $2,019,706 against the Mavericks’ cap, with the NBA covering the difference between the cap hit and Morris’ full salary.

Here are a few more contract details from around the NBA:

  • The one-year, minimum-salary deal that Taj Gibson signed with the Wizards is fully guaranteed, Hoops Rumors has learned. That gives Washington a total of 17 players on standard guaranteed contracts, meaning the club will need to trade or waive at least two of those players before opening night.
  • Boban Marjanovic‘s one-year contract with the Rockets will be worth the veteran’s minimum and will be partially guaranteed, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • The two-way contracts recently signed by Trent Forrest (Hawks) and Setric Millner (Spurs) each cover just one year, Hoops Rumors has learned. That means Forrest and Millner will become eligible for restricted free agency in 2024, assuming they play out their respective deals.
  • In case you missed it, we recently passed along the details on Danny Green‘s non-guaranteed contract with the Sixers, including multiple partial guarantee dates.

Wizards Re-Sign Taj Gibson

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.”

9:47am: Free agent big man Taj Gibson has reached an agreement to return to the Wizards on a one-year, minimum-salary deal, agent Mark Bartelstein tells Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

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.

Atlantic Notes: Knicks’ Roster, Bridges, VanVleet, Brown

The Knicks have 12 players on fully or partially guaranteed deals, leaving at least two spots potentially open for free agents. They could look at a variety of players to fill those slots, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic. Hamidou Diallo, Terence Davis and Taj Gibson are some of the available players that could provide depth in areas of need, in Katz’ view.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Nets forward Mikal Bridges is thrilled he was asked to play for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup, he told Paul George on Podcast P (hat tip to Eurohoops.net). “(Team USA head coach) Steve Kerr brought up the idea to me, and I was like, hell yeah, I’m here, just please let me know. I kind of had the idea there, and then I ended up going to Brooklyn and playing really well,” Bridges said. “After that, when I saw him again and we talked about it, I was really ready for it. So, no, definitely, there was nothing holding me back from that, unless I had some injury or something happen, but no, I was ready. I’m very excited.”
  • Fred VanVleet made 47% of the Raptors’ pull-up 3-pointers and took 42% of their pull-up attempts last season. So how will Toronto replace that element of its offensive game? The Athletic’s Eric Koreen explores that topic, stating that Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby could all take on more responsibility, whether creating those shots or becoming more effective at them.
  • The trade kicker in Jaylen Brown‘s reported super-max extension with the Celtics is less than the 15% max, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe tweets. Brown will also be on a six-month pay schedule each season during his new deal, rather than having the payments spread out over 12 months.

Wizards Notes: Chemistry, Gibson, Wright, Hachimura, Kispert

Speaking to reporters this week, Wizards president of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard and head coach Wes Unseld Jr. both expressed enthusiasm about the chemistry of the new-look roster, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic. As Robbins notes, chemistry was an issue for much of last season, when there was some in-fighting and a few players who disliked their roles. The Wizards’ leaders believe this year’s group will be a more cohesive one.

“I think the biggest thing for me is the fit,” Unseld said. “The talent is one thing, and I think there’s a better fit, and that does help that competitive spirit, the connectivity that we talk about. When it fits and guys get ‘big picture,’ what is the most important thing? That’s winning. That mindset seems to be more of a collective within the group than I think we’ve seen in the past.”

While Bradley Beal, Kristaps Porzingis, and Kyle Kuzma are viewed as probable starters, there could be some competition for the other spots in the starting five, as well as for rotation minutes. Unseld is encouraging that spirit of competition and doesn’t anticipate it will create the sort of animosity it did at times last season.

“We want it to be as competitive as possible and kind of that mindset of ‘compete with each other, not against each other.’ You want to push the guy next to you, but you want it to be in a healthy way,” Unseld said. “I think, with the group that we have, guys understand that mindset. They’re trying to push the guy next to them to be the best version of him.”

Here’s more on the Wizards:

  • While the offseason signing of Taj Gibson was hardly a blockbuster move, Sheppard is excited about what the veteran big man can bring to the franchise. “One person not to sleep on that’s just been a fantastic veteran presence for us has been Taj Gibson and his ability to bring people together,” Sheppard said, per Robbins. “We’ve got a lot of good connectors. I think there’s bookends, and I just kind of bragged about these guys for a minute, but they’re really high-character people that love to be here, love to represent D.C., can’t wait to get in front of the fans and show that this is new, that this is a new team. And we’re excited.”
  • Monte Morris may be ahead of Delon Wright on the depth chart at point guard, but Sheppard expects Wright to play a significant role for the Wizards in 2022/23, as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington relays. “I think Delon is going to help us out tremendously especially at the end of games,” the Wizards executive said. “He’s someone that could be contending for the All-Defensive team and he might not even start. There’s a huge opportunity for him to finish games.”
  • After representing Japan in the Tokyo Olympics last summer, Wizards forward Rui Hachimura will return to his home country again this preseason when the Wizards play two exhibition games against Golden State. According to Hughes, the Wizards and Hachimura’s agents are taking some precautions to make sure the forward doesn’t get burnt out by his various obligations in Japan, completing several of his media interviews prior to the trip. It’s a big season for Hachimura, who will be eligible for restricted free agency in 2023 if he doesn’t sign a rookie scale extension before opening night.
  • In a separate story for The Athletic, Robbins takes a look at what scouts around the league are saying about 2021 first-round pick Corey Kispert, who finished strong last season after a slow start. Three of the four scouts who spoke to Robbins think Kispert will be a long-term backup, rather than a starter.

Wizards Notes: Gibson, Brogdon, Hachimura, Kispert

The Wizards are coming off a disappointing season, but Taj Gibson believes his new team has the talent to contend for a playoff spot, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Gibson’s assessment of the roster is one of the reasons he made the decision to join the Wizards after being waived by the Knicks.

“I’ve seen they have a young and talented team,” Gibson said. “It’s a sleeper team and I just want to be a part of something special. The NBA is full of ups and downs, but I wanted to go to a place where I can just put my veteran mentorship and whatever I can to add to the team.”

The 37-year-old projects to be the third-string center behind Kristaps Porzingis and Daniel Gafford. His role may expand if there are injuries or Porzingis sees some time at power forward, but Gibson has proven he can be productive in limited minutes.

“They have so many talented guys,” he said of the Wizards.  “I’m just a fan of all of them. I’m just lucky enough to be able to say I can go into the gym and get better with these guys, build a bond with these guys. That’s my whole goal.”

There’s more from Washington:

  • Malcolm Brogdon was ultimately traded to the Celtics, but he said on a recent edition of The Woj Pod that he expected to be dealt to the Wizards on draft night (hat tip to Bijan Todd of NBC Washington). “I thought it was going to be Washington,” Brogdon told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. “I heard the Pacers loved the idea of having that 10th pick and having two picks in the lottery and I knew Washington needed a good veteran point guard to pair with Brad Beal. I knew I fit his timeline and knew that everything fit.” The Wizards were heavily linked in trade rumors to Brogdon, who has ties to the D.C. area after playing college basketball at Virginia.
  • The Wizards used Summer League to focus on talent from their G League team, per Ava Wallace of The Washington Post. Seven players on the Las Vegas roster spent time with the Capital City Go-Go last season. “We want to become the Miamis, the Golden States, the Oklahoma Citys — the teams that bring these guys in at the G League level and then they see a pathway to the NBA,” Go-Go general manager Amber Nichols said. “You’ve got to cultivate them in your own system, in your own house.” 
  • Gonzaga coach Mark Few believes his former players Rui Hachimura and Corey Kispert have a bright future ahead after overcoming difficulties last season, Hughes adds in a separate story.

Southeast Notes: Barton, Gafford, Gibson, Barnes, Heat

Wizards guard Will Barton expressed excitement about playing with his new teammates next season, including 23-year-old center Daniel Gafford, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes. Barton and Monte Morris were recently traded to Washington after playing with Denver last season.

“Big Gaff, I want to get out there with him, man,” Barton said. “I’m a guy that likes to get to the rim and when I get to the rim, if I can’t score it myself, I want to put that lob up there and I know he’s a guy who can go get it. So, he’s definitely a guy I’m looking forward to playing with.”

Barton also mentioned Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma, who combined to score 40.3 points per game last season. Gafford will likely come off the bench behind Kristaps Porzingis in 2022/23, but it’s possible head coach Wes Unseld Jr. will test bigger lineups featuring both players at some point.

Here are some other notes from the Southeast Division:

  • New Wizards big man Taj Gibson plans to be a mentor and help the team’s younger players this year, Ava Wallace of the Washington Post writes. Gibson recently joined the club after playing with New York for the past three seasons. He holds 13 years of NBA experience, which includes several playoff runs with the Bulls earlier in his career.
  • In his latest “Ask Ira” mailbag, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel examines whether the Heat should consider trading for Harrison Barnes. Barnes averaged 16.4 points per game for the Kings last season, shooting 39% from three-point range. Aside from Miami needing a power forward, Barnes would also fit in the team’s switch-heavy defensive scheme.
  • In a separate story for the Sun Sentinel, Winderman explores whether the Heat truly need a power forward. The short answer is yes. Miami lost P.J. Tucker to Philadelphia this month and hasn’t re-signed Markieff Morris, leaving a gaping hole in the starting lineup. The team did re-sign undersized forward Caleb Martin and has a budding two-way player in Haywood Highsmith, but starting Jimmy Butler at the four would likely be difficult against bigger teams in the East such as Boston, Milwaukee and Philadelphia. Assuming Tyler Herro and Max Strus start, the team would have to commit to playing in transition and likely blitz more defensively.

Contract Details: Moneke, Ibaka, J. Williams, Gibson

Chima Moneke‘s new contract with the Kings is a two-year, minimum-salary deal that includes a partial guarantee in year one, Hoops Rumors has learned. Currently, only $250K of Moneke’s $1.02MM salary for 2022/23 is guaranteed, but that figure will increase to $500K if the forward isn’t waived before Sacramento’s first regular season game.

The second year of Moneke’s contract is non-guaranteed, but his 2023/24 salary would become partially guaranteed for $250K if he plays at least 1,000 minutes in ’22/23 and his team wins 41 games. Moneke’s full $1.72MM salary for ’23/24 would become guaranteed if he remains under contract through June 30, 2023.

Here are a few more details on recently signed NBA contracts:

  • Serge Ibaka‘s one-year contract with the Bucks is worth the veteran’s minimum, Hoops Rumors has learned. Milwaukee had Ibaka’s Early Bird rights and could have gone above the minimum, but will instead carry a cap hit of just $1,836,090 for the big man, who will earn $2,905,851.
  • Jaylin Williams‘ four-year contract with the Thunder is, as initially reported, worth approximately $8.2MM. Williams will earn fully guaranteed salaries of $2MM in each of the first two years of the deal. His minimum salaries for 2024/25 and ’25/26 are non-guaranteed, with a team option on the fourth year. Since Oklahoma City used the non-taxpayer mid-level exception to give Williams a four-year deal, the club will be hard-capped for the rest of the ’22/23 league year.
  • As anticipated, Taj Gibson‘s one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Wizards is fully guaranteed. Washington now has 15 guaranteed salaries on its books for 2022/23.

Taj Gibson Signs One-Year Deal With Wizards

JULY 19: Gibson has officially signed with the Wizards, per NBA.com’s transactions log.

JULY 10: Gibson has cleared waivers and agreed to a one-year contract with the Wizards, his agent Mark Bartelstein tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Gibson will receive a minimum-salary deal, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic.

JULY 8, 4:35pm: Gibson intends to sign with the Wizards once he clears waivers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). He’ll provide Washington with some additional frontcourt depth following the free agent departure of Thomas Bryant.

JULY 8, 3:59pm: The Knicks have officially waived big man Taj Gibson, the team announced today in a press release. He’ll clear waivers on Sunday, assuming he goes unclaimed.

Gibson, 37, appeared in 52 games for the Knicks last season, averaging 4.4 PPG and 4.4 RPG in 18.2 minutes per contest. He has long been a Tom Thibodeau favorite, having also played for the Knicks’ head coach in Chicago and Minnesota.

Gibson signed a two-year contract with the Knicks during the 2021 offseason, but his second-year salary of $5,155,500 for 2022/23 was non-guaranteed. By cutting him, New York will avoid being on the hook for any of that money.

In addition to waiving Gibson, New York has renounced Ryan Arcidiacono‘s free agent rights, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter link). The two moves are strong signals that the Knicks intend to go under the cap in order to complete their reported signings of Jalen Brunson, Isaiah Hartenstein, and Jericho Sims, rather than remaining over the cap by acquiring Brunson via sign-and-trade.

If the Knicks had been able to turn their Alec Burks/Nerlens Noel trade with Detroit into a three-team deal involving Dallas and Brunson, they could theoretically have used their mid-level exception to sign Hartenstein and Sims, retaining a $9MM+ trade exception and the $4.1MM bi-annual exception. However, clearing cap room for their signings is the simplest path, and will leave them with the $5.4MM room exception available.

As for Gibson, there’s a chance he could re-sign with the Knicks once he clears waivers, though a few other teams have expressed interest in him, notes Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link).

Knicks Trade Nerlens Noel, Alec Burks To Pistons

JULY 11: The Knicks and Pistons have officially completed their trade, the teams announced today in a pair of press releases.

As expected, the Pistons acquired Noel, Burks, cash, and the team’s own 2023 second-round pick. The second pick Detroit received will be either Minnesota’s or New York’s 2026 second-rounder, rather than the heavily protected Miami 2024 second-rounder described below.

The Knicks, meanwhile, received the draft rights to 2015 second-rounder Nikola Radicevic and a protected 2025 second-round pick. That pick will have top-55 protection, tweets Fred Katz of The Athletic.

JUNE 28: The Knicks are trading center Nerlens Noel and guard Alec Burks to the Pistons, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

The Knicks will unload more than $19MM in 2022/23 salary in the deal, providing ample cap space to sign free agent guard Jalen Brunson. Noel has a $9.24MM salary next season, while Burks is due approximately $10MM.

Both players are signed through the 2023/24 season, but there are team options in the final year of their respective contracts — Noel at $9.68MM and Burks at approximately $10.5MM. Thus, those salaries could come off the Pistons’ cap next summer.

New York will send Detroit back its 2023 second-round pick, plus the Heat’s 2024 second-round pick (top-55 protected) and $6MM in cash as sweeteners to take those contracts off its books, Wojnarowski reports in a separate tweet.

The Pistons can absorb those salaries without sending out any contracts, since they were projected to have more cap space than any other team. The Knicks, meanwhile, should have now the cap room necessary to sign Jalen Brunson in free agency.

The Knicks and Pistons were also involved in a three-way draft-night agreement that included the Hornets. In that trade, Detroit took Kemba Walker‘s contract off New York’s books and acquired the draft rights to Jalen Duren.

The Pistons plan on keeping Burks and Noel, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Burks, a 38% career 3-point shooter, will give the Pistons a perimeter threat on the wing who can help mentor the young backcourt of Cade Cunningham and rookie Jaden Ivey. Noel provides depth in the middle behind Isaiah Stewart and Duren.

Despite the addition of Noel, the Pistons are still committed to bringing back restricted free agent Marvin Bagley III, Omari Sankofa of the Detroit Free Press tweets.

Knicks Notes: Brunson, Keels, Grimes, Gibson

The Knicks are expected to add Jalen Brunson via cap space rather than trying to work out a sign-and-trade deal with the Mavericks, tweets Fred Katz of The Athletic. Brunson agreed to a four-year, $104MM contract with New York shortly after the start of free agency on June 30. But the signing hasn’t been made official yet as the Knicks review their options on the best way to add him to the roster.

Marc Stein confirms that a signing using cap room is the most likely option (Twitter link), and a source tells him that Monday is probably the soonest it will happen.

Brunson played an important role in helping Dallas reach the Western Conference finals, but Mavericks owner Mark Cuban tells Steve Popper of Newsday there are “no hard feelings” about his departure. Cuban said he never got a chance to make a final offer, but acknowledged that it may not have mattered given Brunson’s close ties to the Knicks organization.

“I wish him nothing but the best,” Cuban said. “You bust your [butt] and you have that choice. He deserves it. It happens. It’s the way this league works. It’s a business. You trade a player, you say it’s a business. You lose a player, it’s a business. It’s just the way it goes.”

There’s more on the Knicks:

  • Trevor Keels, who’s expected to fill a two-way slot in New York, admits having “chills” before his first Summer League game, per Zach Braziller of The New York Post. After sliding to No. 42 in last month’s draft, Keels is determined to prove that he should have been taken higher. “I didn’t think I was going to [get drafted] that low. But it is what it is,” he said. “Of course, I’m going to make sure all the teams pay that passed up on me. But I’m excited I’m a Knick. I wouldn’t change it for anything.” 
  • Quentin Grimes had eight assists along with a team-high 24 points in the Summer League opener and has been working on becoming a better play-maker, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. For the second straight year, Grimes spent part of the offseason working with University of Memphis coach Penny Hardaway“He’s kind of like a big uncle to me,” Grimes said. “Just took me under his wing and helped me play the point guard position a lot better. Because that’s what I was in high school.”
  • After waiving Taj Gibson this week, the Knicks were hoping to bring him back on a veteran’s minimum contract, but he believed he had a better chance at playing time with the Wizards, tweets Ian Begley of SNY.tv.