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Black signs with Rockets; Collison returning to Thunder

Houston Rockets' Tarik Black (10) looks to pass the ball against the Orlando Magic during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014.

Houston Rockets' Tarik Black (10) looks to pass the ball against the Orlando Magic during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014.

July 15, 2017

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Former Kansas forward Tarik Black is headed back to the NBA team with which he started.

According to multiple reports, the fourth-year pro, who went undrafted in 2014 but found a way to carve out a nice role with a young Los Angeles Lakers squad during the past two seasons, agreed Friday to a one-year deal with the Houston Rockets.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Black’s upcoming year in Houston will be worth $3.29 million and the 6-foot-9, 250-pound center figures to provide frontcourt depth to a Houston team with incredible talent in its backcourt in the likes of James Harden and the newly signed Chris Paul.

After earning a spot with the Rockets following a strong showing in the 2014 NBA Summer League, Black appeared in 25 games for Houston during the 2014-15 season before being waived and landing in Los Angeles.

From there, Black spent the rest of that season and the next two with the Lakers, starting 43 of the 144 games he appeared in while averaging 5.5 points and 5.1 rebounds in 16.6 minutes per game in Hollywood.

Black is expected to inherit the Rockets’ third center role after being waived by L.A., which deemed the former Jayhawk expendable after adding Brook Lopez and a pair of big man draft picks.

Collison signs on for one more run

Former Kansas big man Nick Collison, who has spent his entire career with the Seattle/Oklahoma City franchise, on Friday made sure that will not change.

Collison, one of KU’s all-time leading scorers and rebounders, agreed to a one-year deal with Oklahoma City and said he would call it a career at the end of the 2017-18 NBA season.

His 6.0 and 5.2 career points and rebounds averages do not demonstrate the importance he has had with the franchise. After first joining the club as a lottery pick in 2003, Collison transitioned into one of the team’s key leaders, a role that has only grown in recent years as his playing time has diminished.

Collison is one of just eight active NBA players (10 seasons or more) who has spent his entire career with one franchise.

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