Josh Smith signs with Rockets, expected to play against Grizzlies

Josh Smith signs with Rockets, expected to play against Grizzlies

The Houston Rockets have signed free agent Josh Smith after clearing a roster spot and will activate him to play against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Smith participated in the Rockets' shootaround on Friday morning in Memphis.

The Rockets waived center Tarik Black earlier Friday to free up room to sign Smith.

Black had been a training camp and preseason surprise for the Rockets, an undrafted center out of Kansas who showed an ability to play in the NBA. More than one NBA team told Yahoo Sports they will have interest in claiming him on waivers. Black's $500,000 owed him for this season has a partial guarantee. There's a team option of $845,000 on his deal for the 2015-16 season.

The Rockets had worked to trade a player to clear a roster spot for Smith, but ultimately decided to release Black on Friday. If the Rockets would've waived center Joey Dorsey and the two years, $2 million owed him, he would've likely gone unclaimed on waivers, leaving the Rockets to pay his salary.

Black played in 25 games for the Rockets, averaging 15 minutes. He averaged 4.2 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 54 percent.

Smith will sign a one-year deal for $2 million as part of the Rockets' biannual exception. Smith was waived by the Detroit Pistons on Monday then officially became a free agent after clearing waivers on Wednesday. The Pistons will use the league's stretch provision to pay Smith the $26 million remaining on the contract he signed with them.

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