Earlier this offseason the Los Angeles Lakers madethe decision not to pick up the team option on Tarik Black’s contract. After trading for Brook Lopez and drafting a couple of other bigs in Kyle Kuzma and Thomas Bryant the Lakers were pretty crowded in the front court, making Black expendable.
Black has officially moved on and coincidentally he is winding up right back where his NBA career started. According to Shams Charania of The Vertical, Black has agreed to a contract with the Houston Rockets:
Free agent forward Tarik Black has reached agreement to sign with the Houston Rockets, league sources tell The Vertical.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 14, 2017
Black began his career in Houston, appearing in 25 games in 2014 before being waived in December. He spent the rest of that year and the following two with the Lakers, developing into a reliable, energetic big man off the bench who was a strong rebounder and solid shot blocker.
Black enjoyed his best season last year under new head coach Luke Walton. He averaged 5.7 points and 5.1 rebounds while appearing in 67 games with 16 starts. Most impressively he worked hard on improving his free throw shooting, raising his percentage from 42.2 to an impressive 75.2 last year.
Now back in Houston, Black will be battling for backup center minutes behind starter Clint Capela. He and veteran Nene will provide different looks and Black will be part of a team that could be one of the best in the Western Conference.
Black was known as a very good teammate and person in general and will undoubtedly be missed in the Lakers locker room. The franchise simply didn’t have room for him anymore, but he will certainly make an impact in Houston.