The Los Angeles Lakers claimed former Houston Rockets forward Tarik Black off of waivers on Sunday night, and waived swingman Xavier Henry who underwent season-ending surgery on his Achilles back in November to create a roster spot for the rookie.
Houston let go of Black last week to open a space on their roster for forward Josh Smith, who was surprisingly waived by the Detroit Pistons last Monday.
Lakers head coach Byron Scott seemed excited about the pickup of Black, stating that:
“He’s a big, physical string kid who’s very intelligent and we’d love to see him get here as quick as possible so we can get him in action on the practice court and then we’ll go from there. From some of our reports about him he’s very active on the defensive end and a great communicator on the defensive end and those are two things we need from our bigs. We’ll see how he translates that from Houston to here.”
Black took to Twitter to speak about his new opportunity with Los Angeles:
To the fans of the Lakers I am honored and can’t wait to get to work. Hopefully I can help this team and you guys will enjoy the process #TU
— Tarik Black (@TarikBlack25) December 28, 2014
Black, a former Kansas Jayhawk, appeared in 25 games with the Rockets, averaging 4.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. Black started in 12 games for Houston when starting center Dwight Howard was sidelined by a knee injury.
Black will provide Los Angeles with solid defensive and rebounding ability. Per 36 minutes, Black is averaging 11.6 boards per game, and 5.3 of those are offensive. He is also committing 5.1 fouls per 36 minutes, but hopefully for the Lakers he’s not as foul prone as he was with Houston. Black is expected to make his Lakers debut Tuesday on the road against the Denver Nuggets.