The Los Angeles Lakers announced they have waived reserve center Tarik Black. Black had one year left on the two-year deal he signed last summer, but his $6.7 million salary for the 2017-18 season was fully non-guaranteed if the Lakers waived him before July 4.
Black averaged 5.7 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 51 percent from the field in 16.3 minutes per game for the Lakers last season, his third campaign in the NBA. The 25-year-old had the fourth-highest net rating on the Lakers last season (-1.9), and while there are contextual factors contributing to that, it’s also no small accomplishment on a team that was outscored by 7.2 points per 100 possessions on average.
This is a cost-saving and roster space creating move for the Lakers, who would have had 14 players on their roster if they signed all of their draft picks and retained Black.
The team was especially crowded in a frontcourt featuring Brook Lopez, Ivica Zubac and Thomas Bryant as true centers, as well as Julius Randle and Larry Nance, Jr. likely needing time at the five spot, which likely paved the way for Black’s dismissal.
All stats per NBA.com. and Basketball-Reference.com. Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.