Photo: New York Knicks/X

The New York Knicks decided to release Taj Gibson, a veteran player and a favorite among the coaching staff, just days before his contract would have become guaranteed.

The forward, who is the oldest player on the team and known for his positive influence in the locker room, was signed by the Knicks in December as a precautionary measure following Mitchell Robinson’s surgery.

Although Gibson briefly played when called upon, the recent acquisition of Precious Achiuwa in a trade pushed him out of the regular playing rotation.

By waiving Gibson, the Knicks now have an open spot on their roster, and there are expectations that the team will be active in making moves before the upcoming trade deadline next month.

It’s worth noting that Gibson’s $2.24 million salary would have become fully guaranteed on Wednesday.