Lakers pass on power forward

The Dallas Mavericks on Friday claimed veteran power forward Scott Williams off waivers and assumed his contract for the remainder of the season.

The 6-foot-10 Williams was waived by the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday. He cleared the 48-hour window for which other teams could submit claims. The Los Angeles Lakers, a team that could use a forward like Williams to help fill in for the injured Karl Malone, was a potential rival for Williams' services.

"The Lakers didn't put a claim on him," agent Arn Tellem said. "He's happy. This is what he wanted."

Williams, 35, started in 10 of his 16 games played for the Suns this season, averaging 7.3 points and 4.5 rebounds in 16.7 minutes. He won three NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls from 1991-93.

One of the league's worst defensive teams, the Mavericks have allowed teams to score 99.8 points -- the highest opponents' average of any NBA team.

Williams is expected to be uniform Saturday against Denver.

Dallas had an open spot on its roster and did not have to make another move.

ESPN.com senior NBA writer Marc Stein and The Associated Press contributed to this story.