Former University of Kansas power forward Tarik Black was waived by the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, three days before his $6.7 million contract was to become guaranteed for the 2017-18 season.
The announcement was made by Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka.
Black, a 6-foot-9, 250-pound third-year pro, would still receive that salary if another team claims him within 48 hours. If not, he will become a free agent, free to sign with any team.
“This picture best describes my time here in L.A.,” Black wrote on Instagram, his comments next to a photo of him smiling during a game. “It’s been absolutely amazing and invigorating. I would like to thank the Lakers for an amazing ride and being there for me. From the staff, the team, and the fans I am indescribably grateful. You all opened the doors for me to live a dream to play for such an organization. I love you all and the Lakers are forever in my heart.”
Black, 25, averaged 5.7 points (on 51.2 percent shooting) and 5.1 rebounds while logging 16.3 minutes per game in 67 games for the Lakers during the 2016-17 season.
The Lakers initially signed Black after Houston waived him during the 2014-15 season. He averaged 7.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in 38 games for the Lakers in 14-15 and 3.4 points and 4.0 rebounds a game in 39 games in 2015-16.
Black, who arrived at KU from Memphis as a graduate transfer in 2013-14 — averaged 5.5 points and 3.9 rebounds per game in 13.5 minutes per game in his only season as a Jayhawk. He was not selected in the 2014 NBA Draft, but made the Rockets’ roster as a free agent.
Former KU forward Thomas Robinson, who also played for the Lakers last season, is an unrestricted free agent, free to sign with the Lakers or any other team. Alex Kennedy of hoopshype.com reports that the Minnesota Timberwolves have expressed interest in the 6-10, 240-pound, 26-year-old Robinson.
Memphis signs Selden
Former KU guard Wayne Selden has signed a two-year contract with the Memphis Grizzlies, Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace announced Saturday.
Terms were not disclosed.
The 6-foot-5, 22-year-old Selden, who opened the 2016-17 season in the NBA Development League, then averaged 5.3 points and 1.7 boards per game in three games with New Orleans. He was signed by Memphis after his 10-day contract with the Pelicans expired. For Memphis, Selden averaged 5.0 points and 1.0 rebounds per game in 11 games. He started two of the Grizzlies six playoff games against San Antonio, averaging 3.8 points and 1.5 boards in 17.7 minutes per contest.
“I’m blessed to officially be a part of the Grizzlies family & organization. Thank God for the opportunity. Ready 2 keep workin & gettin better,” Selden posted on Twitter on Saturday.
Memphis coach David Fizdale praised Selden after the playoff setback to the Spurs.
“He can play,” Fizdale told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “I wasn’t giving out charity minutes. He was balling. The kid is built for the league. He’s got a great 2-guard’s body. He reminds me a lot of Dwyane Wade from a body standpoint with big shoulders. And he knows how to play. He’s got an IQ about him. We’re just going to work hard to develop him and see where it takes us, but I really like what I’m seeing so far.”
It has been speculated that Selden may have signed a minimum salary contract that may not be fully guaranteed. Even if that is true, the former KU guard would expect to receive over $1 million next season.
McLemore draws interest
Former KU and Sacramento Kings guard Ben McLemore is being pursued “aggressively” by the Milwaukee Bucks, according to Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports. Meanwhile, ESPN reported that the Los Angeles Lakers have spoken with McLemore’s representatives. ESPN also reported that the New York Knicks have interest in the 6-foot-5, 24-year old wing who played four seasons with the Kings. Sacramento recently declined McLemore’s qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Svi scores 13 twice for Ukraine
KU senior guard Svi Mykhailiuk scored 13 points in Ukraine’s 82-57 victory over Italy in an exhibition game on Friday in Italy. Mykhailiuk again had 13 points on Saturday, this time in a 90-40 blowout loss to Greece. Team Ukraine is preparing for the European Championship U-20 (Division A) tournament, to be held July 13-23 in Crete.