11:22pm: The Rockets have formally announced the signing of Smith and the waiving of Black.
10:49am: Unable to find an acceptable deal to open a roster spot for Josh Smith, the Rockets waived center Tarik Black today, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports writes in a full story. Citing an unidentified league source, Wojnarowski says the Rockets have decided to part ways with the rookie center out of Kansas. He adds that the team hopes Smith can complete a physical and sign a contract in time to play tonight against the Grizzlies, but that remains uncertain at this point.
Smith, who was waived Monday by the Pistons, announced his intention to join the Rockets even before clearing waivers on Wednesday. With Houston already having 15 players on its roster, an opening had to be created. The Rockets spent the past two days trying to work out a deal involving Black, Nick Johnson, Isaiah Canaan, Joey Dorsey or Clint Capela. Of the five, Black was the only one without a fully guaranteed contract. He signed a two-year, partially guaranteed deal in August.
Wojnarowski says several teams are interested in claiming Black. He has already earned more than the partial guarantee amount on his non-guaranteed contract. The money that Black has already earned will stick on Houston’s cap figure if he clears waivers, but another team will assume that amount on its cap if it claims him.
Black averaged 4.2 points and 5.1 rebounds in 25 games with the Rockets, and started 12 games when Dwight Howard was out of the lineup with knee pain. He earned a roster spot with the Rockets after an impressive performance in the summer leagues.