Houston Rockets: Tarik Black will explore options in free agency

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
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Houston Rockets center Tarik Black enjoyed playing in Houston this past season, but he will explore his options in free agency, according to his agent.

Last summer, Tarik Black returned to the Houston Rockets, the team that signed him in the 2014-15 season.

Black had a solid year for the Rockets, averaging 3.5 points and 3.2 rebounds on 59.2 percent shooting in just 10.5 minutes of play. With Clint Capela and Nene ahead of him on the depth charts, Black struggled to find consistent playing time. Although, he was always available and played hard when the coach called his name.

Black is just 6-foot-9, so he is undersized for a center. He doesn’t have the skill set to shoot from distance, so he can’t play power forward in the modern NBA. But Black is a spark plug off of the bench, and he always brings plenty of energy and hustle whenever he enters the game. In the regular season, Black averaged 10.9 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per 36 minutes. His time on the floor was limited, but he did make it count.

Black signed a one-year, $3.29 million deal with the Rockets last July. Now that he is an unrestricted free agent, Black’s agent Mike Lelchitski said that his client is looking for an opportunity to play more, via Kelly Iko of the Rockets Wire.

“[Black has] loved being back in Houston. 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.”

Outside of Chris Paul, Clint Capela is Houston’s biggest priority in free agency. The Swiss big man took a huge step forward this year, and its clear that he could be the Rockets’ starting center for the next 10 years. The Rockets also still have Nene as well as young up-and-coming centers Zhou Qi and Chinanu Onuaku.

Capela will receive the lion’s share of the minutes, and there’s also the chance that Mike D’Antoni will utilize more lineups without a traditional center like he did in the conference finals.

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Also, the Rockets are already almost out of cap space. Houston needs to re-sign Chris Paul and Clint Capela and they still need to find enough room to sign a big name free agent if the opportunity presents itself. There isn’t much room or a need for the Rockets to make re-signing Black a priority.

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