Lakers claim Tarik Black off waivers, release Xavier Henry

Lakers claim Tarik Black off waivers, release Xavier Henry
Tarik Black, guarding Clippers forward Blake Griffin during a game last month, is a rookie out of Kansas who played in 25 games for the Rockets. (Scott Halleran / Getty Images)

On Sunday, the Lakers claimed former Houston Rockets forward/center Tarik Black off waivers.

Black was released on Friday by the Rockets, who needed a roster spot to sign forward Josh Smith.

The 6-foot-11 rookie went undrafted in June, but averaged 4.2 points on 54.2% shooting, along with 5.1 rebounds a game through 25 appearances and 12 starts with the Rockets.

To make room, the Lakers waived swingman Xavier Henry, out for the year with a ruptured Achilles' tendon.

Henry played in nine games for the Lakers this season, averaging 2.2 points a game.  The team is still obligated to pay him his full $1.1 million contract.

Black is on a two-year, non-guaranteed deal at $507,336 for the current season, and $845,059 for 2015-16.  The Lakers can make him a restricted free agent before the 2016-17 season with a $1.2 million qualifying offer.

With the move, the Lakers' payroll increases to $70.2 million for the season, well below the NBA's $76.8 million luxury tax threshold.

Because Black is on a league minimum contract, the Lakers were able to acquire him without using either of their disabled player exceptions ($4.9 million and $1.5 million), granted for Steve Nash and Julius Randle -- both out for the season with back and leg injuries, respectively.

Via Twitter, Black expressed gratitude to the Lakers for picking him up, "What basketball player doesn't grow up wishing to play for [an] historic organization like the @Lakers. Thank you for the opportunity LA!!!"

"To the fans of the Lakers," he continued.  "I am honored and can’t wait to get to work.  Hopefully I can help this team and you guys will enjoy the process #TU."
Henry also shared his thoughts on Twitter, after getting cut by the team.
"Nothing has changed, I’m working to get healthy [every day].  I understand the situation and thank u for your wishes n good vibes #LakersNation."

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