When you sign a center who’s about to turn 30 who just spent the year dealing with injury and/or physical deterioration, you need a capable backup.
Free-agent center Tarik Black has agreed to a two-year, $12.85 million deal to re-sign with theLos Angeles Lakers, league sources told The Vertical.
Black’s deal will include a trade kicker and a guarantee date in the second season, sources said. For Black, the salary represents the maximum he was able to earn under the Early Bird provisions.
The full Early Bird exception will pay Black $6,191,000 next season and $6,655,325 the following year. The Lakers can leave Black on the cap at his hold ($1,180,431), use the rest of their $15 million or so in space then exceed the cap to re-sign him. If they trust him not to pull any funny business and need the extra space, they could rescind the qualifying offer and reduce his cap hold to $980,431 then exceed the cap to re-sign him.
The 24-year-old Black looked promising as energy player in 2014-15, but he took a step back last season under Byron Scott. This was a major issue of having such a bad coach: Scott made player evaluation more difficult.
Black will finish at the rim, crash the glass and play hard defensively. The Lakers might have to ask too much of him with Mozgov starting, but that’d be true of most backups they could sign.