New York Knicks: One expectation for each 2019 NBA free agent signing

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
4 of 6
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Taj Gibson: The veteran presence for young frontcourt

Lance Thomas was the veteran presence for the New York Knicks in the frontcourt. His playing time varied, but as one of this roster’s senior members, he was a main player for a young roster to look towards.

For now, Thomas is off the roster. DeAndre Jordan, who helped Mitchell Robinson, followed Durant and Irving to the Brooklyn Nets in free agency.

That left the Knicks to give Taj Gibson a two-year contract to potentially act as the new veteran mentor and play a main reserve role off the bench.

The 34 year old will provide around 10 points and seven rebounds per game at this point of his career. He has not taken a reserve-exclusive role since 2013-14 with the Chicago Bulls, but on a Knicks team that just invested major money into the frontcourt, that will likely be the case.

Gibson is there for a frontcourt that has talented players under age 25, making him, by far, the group’s senior member. He may not start over them, but provide a tougher, more grounded presence, compared to the floor-spacing of the big men not named Robinson.

Perhaps Gibson and Thomas share this veteran role. As of July 7, only one of them is on the roster, so the role is already clear.