On Sunday, the Los Angeles Lakers announced that they had been awarded center Tarik Black on a waiver claim. To fit the center on the roster, the team waived Xavier Henry.
At his best, Henry was an explosive guard capable of attacking the rim. However, he had been unable to shake off injuries and return to full health before suffering a ruptured Achilles during practice.
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After battling injuries at the tail-end of the 2013-14 season, Henry never quite got into a rhythm with the 2014-15 edition of the purple and gold. He appeared in only nine games and averaged only 9.6 minutes. Before he was able to fully find his feet, the Achilles gave way during a practice, and Henry's season was over.
Black provides the Lakers with another big body to add to a front court. The Lakers currently start Ed Davis and Jordan Hill with Carlos Boozer and Robert Sacre adding depth off the bench. Lakers coach Byron Scott confirmed Black was not with the team prior to Sunday night's loss to the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center.
As an undrafted rookie, Black averaged 4.2 points and 5.1 rebounds in 15.7 minutes per game with the Houston Rockets. The Rockets released Black after adding Josh Smith to the team recently. Black played a season-high 35 minutes against the Lakers back on Nov. 19 because Dwight Howard was out injured.
In that appearance, the center pulled down nine rebounds and scored five points.
Coach Scott hoped adding another big man would create more competition on the practice court--something the coach welcomed. Black expects to join the team in Denver on Tuesday night, but he likely will not become appear in a game until he has completed a few practices.