Storyline: Tarik Black Free Agency

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Black appeared in 51 games this season, averaging 3.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 0.6 blocks in just over 10 minutes per game. He is a consummate professional, great teammate and locker room presence, but his future with Houston isn’t exactly clear. “ loved being back in Houston,” his agent, Mike Lelchitski, told Rockets Wire. “Obviously, he would like the opportunity to help the team more on the court. He’s also looking forward to hearing what other opportunities will be available to him.”

So, the inquisitive Black asked Johnson and Pelinka a series of detailed questions regarding himself. The most pointed one: “Where do you see me in five years as a player?” Because of how Johnson and Pelinka answered his questions, including that one, Black walked away the meeting expressing confidence he will remain on the Lakers for the 2017-18 season. “I don’t know what kind of story will be created if I sat here and said no,” Black said. “That’s a given and the honest truth. I believe I will be. But once again the NBA is passion, basketball, business. You can’t avoid that.”

External circumstances aside, though, Black sounded encouraged Johnson and Pelinka told him, “I have a lot of potential and can get better.” All of which led Black to believe he will still wear a Lakers jersey next season. “If they weren’t interested in bringing me back, they would’ve just said, ‘Well, it’s nice having you Tarik, we enjoyed you, we’ll be in touch,” Black said, smiling. “The fact they’re sitting there, having the conversation and listening to my questions and they seriously answered them and we talked about development, it just gives me confidence moving forward.”

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed center Tarik Black, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released. “Tarik is a player whose strengths are well-suited for the style of play we envision for our team going forward,” said Kupchak. “He plays the game with a mix of athleticism, energy, and physicality that make him a valuable frontcourt contributor in today’s NBA.”
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December 10, 2018 | 9:48 am EST Update
While New Orleans is trying to win enough to convince Davis to stay, the rest of the league is ruminating about what it would take to pry Davis away. Such speculation is happening constantly now, but executives around the league see virtually no chance that Davis is traded before the Pelicans can offer him that super-max extension in July. New Orleans, as it should, will do everything it can to keep Davis — and will move on from him only if it absolutely has to.
57 mins ago via ESPN
If that happens, the Pelicans will have only one logical option: to trade Davis before he leaves in free agency. The same process has played out with several others, including Leonard, Jimmy Butler, DeMarcus Cousins and Paul George. None of them, though, would inspire the kind of bidding war an available Davis would. “That’s what you guys do,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said of the trade speculation. “You guys talk about it. He’s here. He’s playing on our team. We’re trying to win games. That’s the only thing that matters right now. “It’s not anything that I’m going to have a say-so in or anything else, so we don’t bother with it. We worry about now. We worry about winning games and putting everybody in the best position to win games.”
57 mins ago via ESPN
Interestingly, Jimmy Butler and Brown agreed in separate interviews Sunday that the Sixers’ offensive spacing is fine. Butler has flourished here since arriving Nov. 12, having scored 38 points in each of the past two outings. “I think the spacing is great,” Butler said. “I think we have a lot of guys that can put the ball in the basket. We just have to pick and choose where we’re going to be at a certain time. As long as we keep sharing the ball the way that we share the ball and guarding, I’m telling you, we’re going to win.
As for Embiid, Butler can empathize with having to adjust on the fly. “I know where his heart is, man,” Butler said. “I can feel for him. It’s new for myself. It’s new to him. It’s new to everybody. But we’re O.K. I know he wants to win. “He’s frustrated. He wanted to play (Friday and) coach didn’t let him play. We need him. He’s been doing a lot on both ends of the floor for this team. As our best player, I can understand him being frustrated. We’ll figure out ways to make sure he’s successful.”
But here they are, still together. Perhaps it’s because of Wade’s nature. Those who know him well will tell you he takes after his grandmother, who helped raise him and was extremely giving, accepting and forgiving. To be James’ friend for any length of time, maybe it requires a person whom James respects, but also someone who is willing to deal with the challenges James’ personality brings with it. Wade is one of the greatest players in NBA history; James certainly respects that. And Wade has been willing to roll with James’ changing moods and desires over the years. If Wade has ever held any grudge, it has never been apparent.
57 mins ago via ESPN
And Lillard, 28, is something of a media chaos agent: He had the NBA watchers watching him this summer as he broke news of reporters changing jobs, reminding them — occasionally by force — that no one at this level is in the business of keeping secrets. “Nobody knew where I was getting my information from,” Lillard would recall, and the power and insider knowledge was at times intoxicating.