Update: Charania reports that “Black’s deal will include a trade kicker and a guarantee date in the second season,” as well as adding the important note that “the salary represents the maximum he was able to earn under the Early Bird provisions.” So clearly the Lakers like Tarik. Original story follows.
Third-year center Tarik Black will return to the Los Angeles Lakers on a two-year deal worth $12.85 million, according to Shams Charania of the Vertical (with the impending deal originally reported by Dan Duangdao).
Black was originally signed by the Houston Rockets after going undrafted in 2014, but waived and subsequently acquired by the Lakers, where he has spent the majority of the past two seasons.
Black has averaged 5 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 0.4 blocks in 16.6 minutes per game during his two years in the NBA, but he has been productive in limited playing time, with those averages translating to 9.7 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per-36 minutes.
That’s not to say Black would necessarily continue to have the same productivity in a starting role (he averages five fouls per-36), but the Lakers have been better off during his floor time.
Black boasted the best net rating on the Lakers last year, with the team outscoring opponents by 0.7 points per 100 possessions while he was on the floor. Part of that is skewed by small sample size, but the team did appear to benefit from Black’s activity and athleticism during his floor time.
This appears to be a really solid deal for the Lakers under the new, gargantuan cap. Black’s finishing ability in the pick-and-roll and rim protection would seem to be a good fit in Luke Walton’s Golden State Warriors inspired offense, and it appears Black himself is excited to be back:
July 4, 2016
This move solidifies the Lakers’ depth in the frontcourt, with Black looking primed to finally get some minutes as the primary backup for the newly signed Timofey Mozgov.
Given the deal got done more quickly than expected, some might wonder if part of the motivation was getting Black under contract to play in Summer League. That is not the case, as a league source tells Silver Screen and Roll that as of right now there are no plans for Black to play in Las Vegas,
All stats per NBA.com unless otherwise indicated. You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.