Saturday, July 15, 2017

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.


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.


Tracy Ohmart 8 months ago

I think Nick was selected in 2003 not 2012.

Freedman Moor 8 months ago

2003, 2012? Who'd really notice 9 years? Come on buddy?

Matt Tait 8 months ago

Yeah, total mind lapse there. 12th pick led me to write 2012 instead of 2003. Sorry for the hiccup.

Cool story either way. It's been neat to watch him be such an important and loved part of that franchise even while not playing a ton of late.

Humpy Helsel 8 months ago

Truly amazing longevity in this era of free agency and the plethora of new young guns coming into the league from the US and around the world. This guy has not only been with the same franchise, but has done it for 14 years! He must also be high value added off the court for a GM in this environment to not want to fill a slot with a younger player. I can see Nick moving into front office work, coaching, or making a lot of money setting up a "big man's" training center to work with guys on all things associated with what it takes to be a successful big man in today's NBA. Nick, how about setting up such a camp and run it out of Lawrence?

Titus Canby 8 months ago

Humpy, I like your idea here. Better yet, how about hiring Collison as an assistant coach? He could be another Danny Manning from a coaching perspective.

Kevin Studer 8 months ago

"Collison is one of just eight active NBA players who has spent his entire career with one franchise." This is absolutely not true.

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 8 months ago

Another story had it pegged as eight active NBA players who were drafted, then played ten or more years with that same team.

Bryce Landon 8 months ago

It is very rare that a player will spend his entire career with one NBA team. Even Michael Jordan didn't do that; he had two seasons with the Wizards after a career mostly spent with the Bulls. So for Nick Collison to be part of the SEA/OKC franchise all the way must speak volumes about how he contributes to the franchise and how the OKC front office feels about him. The national media hardly ever talks about Collison when they talk Thunder basketball; it's all The Russell Westbrook Show and Kevin Durant taking his talents to the Bay Area. They should, since Collison has been with them for fourteen seasons.

Marc Frey 8 months ago

I understand context, but so far the same thing can be said of any second year player. If splitting hairs, any signed rookie from this last draft.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.