Xavier Henry

Lakers claim Tarik Black off waivers, create roster spot by waiving Xavier Henry


Tarik Black wasn’t selected by anyone in the 2014 NBA Draft, but caught on with the Rockets at Summer League and made the roster after strong performances in both the Orlando and Las Vegas offseason events.

He’s shown some promise as an interesting big man prospect, and averaged 4.2 points and 5.1 rebounds in 25 regular season appearances for Houston this season, while averaging 15.2 minutes per contest.

But once Josh Smith became available, the Rockets were in need of a roster spot, and waived Black to get what the team believes will be an instant upgrade in Smith instead of waiting to see how the rookie’s long term development may ultimately play out.

The Lakers, in need of exactly these types of players, claimed Black off of waivers.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The Los Angeles Lakers claimed rookie center Tarik Black off waivers on Sunday, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The Lakers waived injured forward Xavier Henry to clear a roster spot for Black, sources said. …

Black has a non-guaranteed deal of $500,000 owed him for the season, and the Lakers will possess a team option of $845,000 on his deal for the 2015-16 season.

It’s a shame about Henry, who showed flashes of athleticism with the Lakers last season. But injuries have made him unavailable, so it makes sense for L.A. to take a chance on a different young talent instead.

As the Lakers look to rebuild their roster, promising young players on non-guaranteed, small-scale deals are inexpensive, low-risk options — especially if they end up turning into guys who can play meaningful minutes in the rotation.

The Charlotte Hornets were also ready to claim Black off of waivers, but the Lakers had the priority thanks to having a worse record in the standings.

Report: Lakers working on a one-year deal with Earl Clark


Earl Clark had his best NBA season with the Lakers back in 2013, posting averages of 7.3 points and 5.5 rebounds while starting in 36 of his 59 appearances.

It was enough for him to secure a free agent deal with the Cavaliers, but last season was a disastrous one in Cleveland, and Clark ultimately became one of the team’s casualties.

He was dealt to the Sixers in the middle of the season as part of the trade for Spencer Hawes, only to be waived shortly thereafter.

This year, Clark has been spending time in the D-League, attempting to impress enough to make it back to an NBA roster. It appears as though he may have found a suitor.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Lakers, Earl Clark working on a one-year deal, league sources told Yahoo. He’s averaging nearly 30 points for Houston’s D-League affiliate.

L.A., obviously, can use all the help it can get right now — especially on the defensive end of the floor, where the team ranks dead last in points allowed per 100 possessions, and it isn’t even close.

The Lakers have lost three players to season-ending injuries (Julius Randle, Xavier Henry, Steve Nash), and were recently granted a disabled player exception for Nash.

Clark has averaged 28.8 points and 7.3 rebounds in four appearances with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers this season.

Lakers granted $4.85 million disabled-player exception for Steve Nash injury


The Los Angeles Lakers just gained a little bit of flexibility to add some help. Before the season, it was announced that Steve Nash would miss the entire year with recurring back problems. Now, the Lakers have been granted a disabled-player exception by the NBA worth $4.85 million, half of Nash’s salary, according to multiple reports.

With the exception, the Lakers can sign any player for up to that amount. They’ve lost three players already to season-ending injuries: Nash, rookie power forward Julius Randle (who suffered a broken leg in the Lakers’ first game of the season) and Xavier Henry, who suffered a ruptured Achilles this week.

The Lakers are 3-11 on the season, and it’s unclear who they could sign that could make enough of an impact to turn around their season. Any help they can get would be much needed.

Lakers forward Xavier Henry ruptured Achilles in practice, out for season


UPDATE 7:27 pm: What was feared has become official — Lakers forward Xavier Henry is done for the season, the team announced Monday.

Lakers guard Xavier Henry underwent an MRI exam today which revealed a ruptured left Achilles tendon. Henry suffered the injury at this morning’s practice. He is scheduled to have surgery tomorrow morning with Dr. Neal ElAttrache and Dr. Steve Lombardo of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic. Henry is expected to be out the reminder of the season.

As noted by Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports, the Lakers have already been granted a $1.5 million Disabled Player Exception to bring in a new a player (it must be used by March 10). The team has reached out to the league about a second one of those, although it would be for less money and not able to land much.

Not that anyone they get at those prices will help the 3-11 team.

3:50 pm: This is bad news, via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.


This is just not fair to Xavier Henry, who showed glimpses of promise in Mike D’Antoni’s system but has just never been able to stay healthy. He’s had a multiple major knee surgeries in his career, and coach Byron Scott suggested that took away from his explosiveness and Henry would have to adapt his game (and Henry got a couple of D-League games in this season for the Lakers). Henry didn’t see it that way and said he planned to keep playing his attacking style.

This is a brutal setback.

The Lakers now have three players out for the season — Henry, Julius Randle and Steve Nash — plus a fourth in Ryan Kelly who could miss significant time. Reports are the Lakers have already reached out to the league to discuss a disabled player exception or other option to add another player to the roster.

Byron Scott thinks Xavier Henry may never be the same player again


Lakers guard Xavier Henry has battled various injuries in his two-year tenure with the team, and his knee troubles have head coach Byron Scott wondering if he can ever be the same player again.

From the Los Angeles Daily News’ Mark Medina:

“He’s not that explosive guy he used to be,” Scott said. “I don’t know if that will come back or not.”

“I loved his athleticism and the fact that he could attack the basket,” said Scott, who also raved about Henry’s passing and shooting. “His relentlessness to attack the basket contributed to the injuries as well.”

For his part, Henry doesn’t believe he has to change the way he plays.

“I don’t think I have to adjust my game,” said Henry, who appeared in his second D-League assignment on Saturday. “You can turn an ankle like this. For me, my strength is being able to go where I need to go using my power, speed and aggressiveness.”

Henry averaged 10 points per game last season for the Lakers. This year, he’s averaging just 2.2 points in a career-low 9.6 minutes per game. He’s missed four games and spent some time in the D-League. The Lakers are 3-10 and have limited backcourt scoring options outside of Kobe Bryant and Nick Young. A healthy Henry won’t turn the team around, but he’ll help.