In a move that highlights the Washington Wizards’ commitment to nurturing young talent, one of the NBA’s most seasoned players, former USC Trojan center Taj Gibson, has signed a one-year contract with the team. After his previous stint with the franchise in 2022, where he played a valuable reserve role, the Wizards have decided to bring him back for another season.
Gibson, who entered the league in 2009, enjoyed nine years as a Chicago Bull, contributing significantly to multiple playoff runs during the 2010s. Throughout his tenure in Chicago, he primarily served as a reserve player behind the likes of Carlos Boozer. The Windy City was graced by the presence of iconic players such as Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, and Luol Deng during those years, with Gibson remaining an essential part of the roster under the guidance of coach Tom Thibodeau.
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.
As his career progressed, Gibson reunited with Thibodeau in two separate stints with different teams. His departure from the Bulls occurred through a trade to the OKC Thunder during Russell Westbrook’s MVP season. Following that, Gibson became a free agent and made a significant move by signing with the Minnesota Timberwolves. There, he joined forces with Jimmy Butler, as they both returned to play under the coaching of Tom Thibodeau.
Gibson’s career journey eventually led him to the New York Knicks, where he played before arriving at his current destination as a mentor for the young and promising core of the Washington Wizards. With an impressive career spanning 15 years in the NBA, Gibson has averaged nearly nine points, six rebounds, and one block per game. His role with the Wizards now extends beyond the court, as he takes on the crucial responsibility of guiding the team’s emerging talents, including trade acquisition Jordan Poole.
While Gibson’s days of logging heavy minutes on the court may be behind him, his continued presence in the league is a testament to his dedication and passion for the game. Fans of USC basketball will undoubtedly appreciate seeing one of their program’s finest players continue to contribute to the NBA’s success, even if it’s in a different capacity.
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