Lakers add Tarik Black, waive Xavier Henry

Los Angeles Lakers add Tarik Black, waive Xavier Henry

The Los Angeles Lakers have been awarded center Tarik Black on a waiver claim, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. To make room on the roster for Black, the Lakers have waived Xavier Henry.

Black, an undrafted rookie from Kansas, appeared in 25 games (12 starts) for the Houston Rockets this season, averaging 4.2 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 54.2% from the field in 15.7 minutes per game. The 23-year-old Black was waived by Houston on December 26.

Henry appeared in nine games this season for the Lakers before suffering a ruptured left Achilles tendon in practice on November 24 that is expected to keep him out the remainder of the season. In his two seasons with Los Angeles, Henry averaged 8.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.0 assists over 52 games (five starts).

Deron Williams, Brook Lopez struggling for Nets lately

Here’s ESPN New York reporting some hard truths about several key Brooklyn Nets players:

Deron Williams, Brook Lopez struggling for Nets

They might be making a combined $432,604 per game, but Deron Williams and Brook Lopez are nothing more than sixth and seventh men right now, two max reserves coming back from injury and struggling to adapt to their new roles for the Brooklyn Nets.

On Saturday night at Barclays Center, Williams and Lopez looked like shells of their former All-Star selves. Williams shot 2-for-7 from the field and had three turnovers in 20 minutes off the bench, while Lopez missed all five of his field-goal attempts in 15 minutes and was held scoreless for the first time since Nov. 8, 2010 — the sixth game of his career.

“There are no excuses,” Nets coach Lionel Hollins said after his team was pounded by the Indiana Pacers 110-85. “[Deron and Brook] didn’t play very well, and they have to play better for us to be better or for them to get more playing time and more consistent playing time.”

You want a strong statement from a head coach of a 13-15 team that is only alive and well because it plays its games in the Eastern Conference? Try that one.

No exact Ricky Rubio return date yet

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting on the banged-up Timberwolves, who can’t wait to get point guard Ricky Rubio back in action:

No exact Ricky Rubio return date yet

Christmas has come and gone, and Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio didn’t reach the target date he once set for his return from an ankle he severely sprained seven weeks ago.

He is back running and now refuses to prognosticate the date of his return.

“I wish,” Rubio said Saturday when asked if he knows when he will play again. “I’ve been saying it’s two weeks for the last month. I don’t want to say anymore dates. I’ve been saying in two weeks I think I’ll be ready and two weeks go by and I still can’t play and I get mad. I don’t want to get in a bad mood again. I’m not going to ask for a date again. I go as my body will let me do.”

For now, he can run and he did so with teammates for the first time at Friday’s morning shootaround in Denver, where he participated full-court running the team’s offense.

Hornets assign Noah Vonleh to D-League

Hornets assign Noah Vonleh to D-League

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has assigned forward Noah Vonleh to its NBA D-League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

“We believe Noah would benefit greatly from additional game experience,” Cho said. “He will be able to get that playing time through this D-League assignment.”

Vonleh was selected by the Hornets with the ninth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. The 6-10 rookie has appeared in four games this season, with averages of 2.5 points and 2.8 rebounds in 8.0 minutes.