Taj Gibson
Taj Gibson
33-Year-Old ForwardF
Minnesota Timberwolves
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Gibson was perhaps the most surprising Timberwolves player last season, in terms of Fantasy production. The veteran was largely undrafted across many leagues, yet managed to maintain value in essentially all formats. He finished the season with averages of 12.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, plus a combined 1.5 steals and blocks, to go with a career-best 57.7 percent mark from the field. The 33-year-old started all 82 games for the first time in his career, bouncing back from an up-and-down 2016-17 campaign split between Chicago and Oklahoma City. Gibson's numbers were far from extraordinary, but he was remarkably consistent and even flashed increased shooting range, attempting 35 three-pointers, which were by far a career-high. Heading into 2018-19, Gibson's role will likely remain much the same, though at some point his workload (33.2 MPG last season) may have to be monitored. Given who's in charge of the rotation, however, a substantial drop-off in minutes doesn't seem likely. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $28 million contract with the Timberwolves in July of 2017.
Fares well in move to bench
FMinnesota Timberwolves
February 12, 2019
Gibson contributed 14 points (5-5 FG, 4-4 FT), three rebounds, one assist and one steal in 21 minutes off the bench Monday in the Timberwolves' 130-120 victory over the Clippers.
ANALYSIS
While Gibson made the most of his time on the court, his output was still overshadowed by that of Dario Saric (19 points, eight boards in 33 minutes), who replaced him in the starting five Monday. With no more than 23 minutes in any of the previous four contests, Gibson had already been losing run to Saric before the lineup change, and the gap in playing time may only grow larger from here on out. Since Gibson is headed for free agency this summer and seemingly has no future with a non-contending Timberwolves squad, the team has extra incentive to prioritize minutes for the 24-year-old Saric.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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Gibson spent the first part of last season in Chicago, where he had played his entire career, before being dealt to the Thunder at the trade deadline. During the 2016-17 campaign, he averaged 10.8 points and 6.2 rebounds across 25.5 minutes per game while shooting 51.5 percent from the field. Now, however, he’ll be joining the new-look Timberwolves, featuring the likes of former teammate Jimmy Butler, as well as Jeff Teague. Last season, Minnesota deployed fourth-year man Gorgui Dieng as their starting power forward for all 82 games, who showed some potential as a decent three-point shooter with defensive upside. It’s unclear at the moment if Dieng or Gibson will be the starting power forward on Day 1, though they both have the skill to play reserve center minutes behind Karl-Anthony Towns, so they both should still be able to see a Fantasy-relevant workload. Expecting Gibson to see 30 minutes per night is likely overzealous, and it’s probably safe to assume he’ll see around the 25.5 minutes he saw last season. As a result, he can probably be avoided in the majority of Fantasy formats, though could make a for a decent waiver-wire pickup mid-season if necessary.
Gibson will look to rebound after somewhat of a down 2015-16 campaign in which he averaged 8.6 points in 26.5 minutes per game, both his lowest since 2012-13. He remained a reliable presence on the boards, however, grabbing 6.9 boards per game to go with 1.1 blocks. It was a relatively sound season on the health front for Gibson, who appeared in 73 games and made 55 starts before a nagging rib injury shelved him for the final eight games of the season. After the Bulls bid adieu to Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah in the offseason, Gibson could be first in line for a starting role at power forward, though he'll face stiff competition for minutes from Nikola Mirotic and promising second-year player Bobby Portis. Gibson is the most reliable of the three, but Portis' potential is intriguing, while Mirotic is among the team's best floor-spacing shooters. At 31 years old, Gibson's upside is probably tapped out, but when healthy, he can be counted on for consistent points and rebounds production while shooting around 50 percent from the floor. That said, given the talent behind him, Gibson isn't likely to hold a significant enough offensive role to warrant more than a late-round flier on draft day.
Gibson enters his seventh season in the league coming off of ankle surgery after dealing with ankle problems for much of last season. He was limited to 67 games as a result, 17 of which were starts. Gibson's numbers took a step backwards as he averaged 10.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.6 steals, and 1.2 blocks in 27 minutes per game. He started 70 games in his rookie season but has only started 49 games in five seasons since then as he has become one of the main contributors off of the Bulls bench. The Bulls were already loaded up front with Gibson, Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, and Nikola Mirotic, but they also added first-round pick Bobby Portis to the frontcourt mix as well. There was talk the Bulls were going to shop Gibson over the summer, but his ankle surgery likely ended that idea. He is slated to come off the bench again this season, but it's unclear how big his role will be under new coach Fred Hoiberg. There is a possibility that Gibson's name may come up in trade rumors again once he gets healthy.
The 29-year-old power forward is entering his sixth season in the NBA, all with the Bulls. Last season, Gibson averaged 13.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.5 steals, and 1.4 blocks in 29 minutes per game while playing in all 82 contests. He shot just under 48 percent from the field while attempting 10.9 shots per game. Gibson had a career year from the charity stripe, getting to the line 3.4 times per game and connecting on 75 percent of his chances. Thanks to his high-energy defense and improved post game, he finished second in the Sixth Man of the Year voting. It was his most productive season to date, as he finished the year ranked 12th in defensive win shares. After Carlos Boozer was amnestied, Gibson looked like a lock to be Chicago's starting power forward for the 2014-15 season, but the acquisition of Pau Gasol has complicated that notion. Although Gibson will still be a major minutes eater for coach Tom Thibodeau's squad, Gasol should be the starter at power forward all season. Nikola Mirotic could swipe some playing time from Gibson but not until the talented European import can prove himself to Thibodeau. Gibson became much more aggressive on the offensive side of the ball last season, attempting four more shots per game than in 2012-13. His shot attempts are likely to drop with the additional firepower now in the frontcourt. Overall, there are no glaring weaknesses in Gibson's game, and he should continue to show improvement on an upgraded Bulls squad. His contributions on both sides of the ball will be welcomed in most formats as long as he gets the minutes.
Signed to a four-year, $38 million extension last November, Gibson will be first off the bench in the frontcourt and should see a spike in minutes with his elite perimeter defense, which has become increasingly valuable against stretch-fours and the pick-and-roll. Carlos Boozer could be an amnesty clause victim next summer, meaning that Gibson's statistical ceiling, on par with career averages for points, rebounds, and blocks last year, could rise, especially now that a nagging knee injury has fully healed.
For the first time in his three-year career, Gibson didn't start a game, getting into 63 of the Bulls' 66 games in 2011-12. He averaged 7.7 points and 5.3 rebounds in a career-low 20.4 minutes per game, but that lack of playing time was more circumstantial than performance-based. In fact, Gibson was a candidate for sixth man of the year throughout the season, averaging 13.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per 36 minutes. On top of that, his elite perimeter defense - especially when defending against the pick-and-roll - is one of the Bulls' most valuable assets With Boozer locked into a lucrative long-term deal, he won't be going anywhere, but his injury-prone ways should open up the occasional start for Gibson.
After a promising rookie season, Gibson was pushed to bench duties following the arrival of Carlos Boozer. As a result, Gibson’s numbers were down across the board, as he finished with averages of 7.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in just under 22 minutes. Despite the apparent sophomore slump, Gibson still flashed his promise while spot starting for Boozer. In his 19 starts, Gibson averaged 10.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 7.1 blocks. With Boozer locked into a lucrative long-term deal, he won’t be going anywhere, but his injury-prone ways should open up the occasional start for Gibson. Given his role as a bench player, Gibson’s immediate value is somewhat limited, but his value would skyrocket should Boozer go down with an injury.
Gibson, selected 26th overall last year, became a surprise starter at power forward and joined Brad Miller as the only Bulls to play all 82 games. He led rookies with 7.5 rebounds per game and 49.4 percent shooting, while his 1.27 blocks per game ranked second. The addition of Boozer relegates Gibson to the bench, but he still should see decent minutes at various frontcourt positions and will start while Boozer is sidelined.
More Fantasy News
Bumped to bench
FMinnesota Timberwolves
February 11, 2019
Gibson will come off the bench for Monday's game against the Clippers.
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Plays season-low 13 minutes
FMinnesota Timberwolves
February 6, 2019
Gibson was limited to 13 minutes in Tuesday's 108-106 loss to the Grizzlies. He generated two points (1-4 FG) and one rebound.
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Ejected in Friday's loss
FMinnesota Timberwolves
January 26, 2019
Gibson managed eight points (3-5 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 2-2 FT), four rebounds and one assist across 21 minutes in the Timberwolves' 106-102 loss to the Jazz on Friday before being ejected in the third quarter after receiving two technical fouls.
ANALYSIS
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Double-doubles in Thursday's win
FMinnesota Timberwolves
January 25, 2019
Gibson delivered 14 points (4-7 FG, 6-6 FT), 10 rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block across 28 minutes in the Timberwolves' 120-105 win over the Lakers on Thursday.
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Pours in 17 on efficient shooting
FMinnesota Timberwolves
January 21, 2019
Gibson tallied 17 points (7-8 FG, 3-3 FT), five rebounds, one steal and one block across 24 minutes Sunday in the Timberwolves' 116-114 win over the Suns.
ANALYSIS
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