Marcelo Huertas

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Magic Johnson’s Lakers trade for point guard: Tyler Ennis from Rockets

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Has legendary Lakers point guard Magic Johnson found someone to follow in his footsteps?

Almost certainly not.

But, in his second trade with the Rockets since taking over the Lakers’ front office this week, Johnson found a point guard to take a flier on: Tyler Ennis, who was exchanged for Marcelo Huertas.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired guard Tyler Ennis from the Houston Rockets, league sources told The Vertical.

The Lakers sent guard Marcelo Huertas to Houston in exchange for Ennis, sources said. The Rockets will waive Huertas.

Ennis was the No. 18 pick in the 2014 draft. But he has just looked over his head in three NBA seasons with the Suns, Bucks and Rockets. There’s a reason the Lakers got him so cheap. It’s unlikely he’ll stick in the NBA, and D'Angelo Russell is clearly still the franchise point guard.

Still, point guards tend to develop late, and Ennis is just 22. There’s always a chance he’ll rediscover the court vision he displayed at Syracuse.

The Lakers will hope he plays better — just not too much better. Because his fourth-year team-option was declined, they can re-sign him for a starting salary up to just $3,066,713 (what he would’ve earned, with the rookie-scale adjustment under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, if his option had been exercised).

Also in the final guaranteed year of his contract, Huertas is making $233,880 more than Ennis. That’s not much, but if the Rockets were going to waive Ennis anyway — this trade suggests they were — why not save that money?

The 33-year-old Huertas likely drops out of the NBA. He already fell out of the Lakers’ rotation.

And with that spot open and a little extra money to spend — including more from the K.J. McDaniels trade — Houston can be a player in the post-buyout market as it revs up for a playoff run.

NBA sets record with 113 international players, a plurality from Canada, on opening-night rosters

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Until last season, the NBA set or tied its record for number of international players on opening-night rosters the previous three years.

But after peaking at 101 in 2014-15, the number dropped to 100 last season.

A sign the league has hit its foreign saturation point?

Probably not.

The NBA boasts a record 113 international players from a record 41 countries and territories to begin this season. Canada, with 11, leads the league for the third straight year.

A count of international players in the NBA on opening night:

  • 2016-17: 113
  • 2015-16: 100
  • 2014-15: 101
  • 2013-14: 92
  • 2012-13: 84

Here’s a full list of 2016-17 international players, but before you read it, take our quizzes on opening-night rosters.

Lakers sign Julian Jacobs

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If the Lakers waive Nick Young, they have potential replacements lined up.

The Lakers have 14 players – one shy of the regular-season roster limit – plus Yi Jianlian, who’s very likely to last past the preseason. But dropping Young would create a vacancy.

Zach Auguste and Travis Wear are ready to vie for it.

So is undrafted USC guard Julian Jacobs.

Lakers release:

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Julian Jacobs

The 6-foot-4 Jacobs has excellent hops, and he scores at the rim and rebounds well for his position as a result. But his shaky jumper is a major negative.

Jacobs enters this potential competition firmly behind Auguste and Wear.

It doesn’t help that a team with D’Angelo Russell, Jose Calderon, Marcelo Huertas, Jordan Clarkson and Lou Williams probably doesn’t need another point guard.

Most likely, the Lakers waive Jacobs and assign his D-League rights to their affiliate. But, if he’s in camp, he’ll at least have a chance to buck the odds and stay into the regular season.

Jose Calderon retires from Spanish national team

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Jose Calderon has won three Olympic medals – silver in 2008 and 2012 and bronze this year.

Just three men’s basketball players have won more:

  • Carmelo Anthony (three golds and a bronze for Team USA)
  • Gennady Volnov (a gold,* two silvers and a bronze for the Soviet Union)
  • Sergey Belov (a gold* and three bronzes for the Soviet Union)

Calderon, who turns 35 next month, won’t catch them.

O. Cauchi of Sportando:

Veteran point guard Jose Calderon has officially announced his retirement from Spanish NT.

Calderon barely played in Rio. Spain is stacked at point guard with Sergio Rodriguez, Ricky Rubio and Sergio Llull.

The Lakers aren’t as deep at the position with D'Angelo Russell and Marcelo Huertas. Calderon might have a bigger impact in Los Angeles – especially if he’s not saving himself for Eurobasket 2017.

Brazil hopes for Team USA matchup after eliminating Nigeria

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It was too late to salvage Marcelo Huertas‘ assist.

But Nene saved Brazil’s medal hopes.

Despite missing a dunk set up by a no-look between-the-legs pass from Huertas – which rivaled Milos Teodosic for the pass of the tournament – Nene was otherwise splendid in a late run that keyed Brazil’s 86-69 win over Nigeria in their final group-play game Monday.

If Argentina beats Spain – 6 p.m. on NBC Sports Network and streaming here – Brazil will finish fourth in Group B and face Team USA in the quarterfinals. If Spain wins, Brazil is eliminated.

Nigeria is done with this loss.

Brazil pulled away with a 14-2 run in the fourth quarter. The possession after his missed dunk during the spurt, Nene intercepted a backcourt pass and finished that flush. A short time later, he led a fastbreak and shoveled the ball to Huertas for an easy layup rather than scoring himself.

Nene finished with 19 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block. Huertas added 12 points and 11 assists.

Brazil was just too tough on the offensive glass for Nigeria. Brazil grabbed 20 offensive rebounds to Nigeria’s 23 defensive rebounds, and that was mainly the difference in a game that stayed close until the fourth quarter.

Josh Akognon scored 16 points for Nigeria, which improbably entered the day with a chance to advance thanks to an upset of Croatia.