Monday December 29th, 2014

The Los Angeles Lakers claimed center Tarik Black off waivers on Sunday, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Black, a rookie, was waived by the Houston Rockets on Friday to open a roster spot for Josh Smith, who signed with the Rockets after he was released by the Detroit Pistons.

The Lakers released injured forward Xavier Henry to clear a spot for Black. Henry suffered a season-ending torn Achilles last month. The four-year veteran was coming off his best season in 2013-14, as he averaged 10.0 points and 21.1 minutes per game, both career-highs.

• Timberwolves expect Ricky Rubio to return in mid-January

Black, a 6-foot-11 forward and, like Henry, played at Kansas, went undrafted but impressed during early-season action. In 25 games (12 starts), Black averaged 4.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 15.7 minutes per game.

According to Wojnarowski, the Rockets attempted to trade a player to clear a roster spot for Smith, but chose to release Black instead. Black has a non-guaranteed contract for $500,000 this season, and the Lakers will also have a team option of $845,000 for next season.

Kobe Bryant uses 'rings gesture' to silence heckler at game

The Lakers have opened the season 9-21.

- Mike Fiammetta

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