Lakers claim Tarik Black off waivers, cut Xavier Henry
So long, Houston. Hello, Los Angeles.
Two days after learning the Rockets had waived him in order to sign Josh Smith, rookie center Tarik Black has a new NBA home. The undrafted big man out of Kansas couldn’t pass through the league’s waiver system without the Lakers scooping him up.
Black, who had averaged 4.2 points and 5.1 rebounds for Houston, didn’t leave his short-term employer without feeling grateful. Sunday afternoon, he tweeted about his gratitude for the franchise that gave him a shot to make it in the league:
“I would like to thank the (Rockets) for blessing me to be (a part) of such an outstanding organization.”
While the news meant the 6-foot-11 rookie would remain in the league, acquiring Black pushed another former Kansas player out. Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Lakers waived inured small forward Xavier Henry in order to have a roster spot for Black.
Henry, coming off a promising 2013-14 with the Lakers, ruptured his left Achilles in November, ending his fifth season prematurely.
The Lakers only signed Henry to a one-year deal this past offseason, so parting ways with him in order to sign someone who could impact the team now made sense. Appropriately, Henry isn’t taking it personally.
“Nothing has changed,” the 23-year-old tweeted to Lakers fans Sunday afternoon. “I’m working to get healthy everyday. I understand the situation and thank (you) for your wishes (and) good vibes.”
While going from the playoff-bound Rockets (21-7 before facing San Antonio Sunday evening) to the lottery-bound Lakers (9-21 entering Sunday’s game against Phoenix) might not seem like an ideal situation, the 23-year-old Black wasn’t complaining.
“Well, what basketball player doesn’t grow up wising to play for a historic organization like the (Lakers),” Black posted on Twitter. “Thank you for the opportunity, L.A.!!!”
Black didn’t stop there, adding in another tweet:
“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.”
Black’s signing will give the Lakers another low-post option to go with Jordan Hill, Carlos Boozer and Ed Davis.
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