The Los Angeles Lakers have added two new players to the roster in free agency by signing Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng to four-year deals, while keeping one of their own in purple and gold by re-signing restricted free agent Jordan Clarkson to a four-year, $50 million contract.
Now, it appears that they will be retaining another young player that has been on the roster for the past two seasons, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania.
In a new free agent market that has seen massive deals be agreed upon throughout the league, re-signing Tarik Black for just a shade over $6 million per year is a steal. Black was buried on the bench last season by Byron Scott, despite being a productive role player when he actually saw time on the floor.
Black has history with new head coach Luke Walton, as the former was at the University of Memphis while the latter was an assistant coach for the school. Seeing as Walton is familiar with Black, this should net the 24-year-old a spot in the rotation, unlike this past season.
Black projects to be the backup center behind Mozgov, giving the Lakers a high-motor, energetic player off the bench who constantly plays hard. He is also one of the team’s better pick-and-roll big men, rebounds the ball well, and has been one of the Lakers’ better defenders the last two years, though that is not saying much.
Although Black struggled to get playing time last season, look for him to be a significant part of the second unit, as the Lakers hope to start an upward swing this season.