Tarik Black RumorsAll NBA Players
Scott may not go with centers Tarik Black and Robert Sacre behind Hibbert, choosing instead to go with a frontcourt pairing of Brandon Bass and Ryan Kelly, both of whom have traditionally played power forward. “I love the way Ryan played the whole preseason,” Scott said after practice on Monday. “I think he had one bad game and that was the second game against Utah. “Other than that, he was aggressive, made shots, was blocking shots. He did a lot of good things for us on both ends.”
The lone player with a guaranteed deal (nearly $1 million) on the bubble appears to be center Robert Sacre. While he’s a legitimate 7-footer, and an exuberant locker room presence, Sacre may need to beat out both Tarik Black and Upshaw to keep his position. Black is non-guaranteed at $845,059. While he’s a bit undersized, Black is also a great teammate and is more athletic than Sacre.
Upshaw, on a rookie contract at $525,093, comes in with a very different reputation after getting dismissed from both Fresno State and Washington for team violations. At Washington, Upshaw blocked 4.5 shots a game. He has great size for a center and tremendous potential, but only if he can keep his personal life in order. The Lakers are likely to keep two of the three, and midway through the preseason Sacre may be on the outside looking in.
Joey Ramirez of Lakers.com recently caught up with the second-year big man to discuss a variety of topics including how his continued training and development is going, nickname origins, his tattoos, and what particular aspects of his game he wants to improve upon. “Being more effective on offense,” Black told Ramirez. “Being more versatile at my size, at 6’9″, I’m right there and I play against guys that are 7’ or 6’11 with great wingspans, so being more versatile on offense, presenting more on the floor is definitely something I want to venture into and also just becoming the best basketball player I can be all around.”
After going undrafted and then being cut by the Houston Rockets in order to make room for Josh Smith, Black experienced some success in the role as an energy guy and disruptor for last year’s Lakers squad (7.2 PPG, 6.3 RPG as a reserve for the Lakers in 2014-15), but it is clear he is not satisfied with merely contributing here and there. “I want to be on both ends of the floor,” Black continued. “I hang my hat on rebounding and defense, so I just want to get better and better and become more of a ‘lockdown’ defender and also become more of a threat on the offensive end to make people honest.”