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Rockets trade Tyler Ennis to Lakers to clear cap space

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Seeking a bought out free agent, Houston has traded reserve point guard Tyler Ennis to the Lakers.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Dallas Mavericks Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey once again called up former talk-show host Magic Johnson to make a last-minute trade to clear cap space.

Morey sent backup point guard Tyler Ennis to the Los Angeles Lakers for Brazilian backup point guard Marcelo Huertas. The Rockets promptly waived — or soon will — Huertas to create cap space.

The move appears to be part of a still developing strategy to make an offer to a veteran free agent who gets bought out of his current contract. The hottest name being bandied about on Twitter is center Andrew Bogut, who was dealt from Dallas to Philadelphia in the closing hours of the trade deadline for Nerlens Noel.

Ennis barely played while backing up James Harden and Patrick Beverley at point guard. He was officially posting 1.9 ppg and 1.1 apg in 31 games.

Ennis was on an expiring $1.73 million deal. His contract included a team option for next season at $2.6 million, which surely would have been declined. The Rockets acquired Ennis in the offseason by trading Michael Beasley to the Milwaukee Bucks. He played only when Houston was missing Patrick Beverley, and now that Lou Williams is in town, they don’t even need him for that anymore

Huertas is on a $1.5 million contract. Waiving the 33-year-old point guard invalidates the next year of his contract. Effectively giving the Rockets an extra $200,000 in cap space to seek free agents and a roster spot.

The former Laker (and now former Rocket) has been a mainstay of the Brazilian national team, but never got a foothold in the NBA. He’s averaging only 2.7 ppg and 2.3 apg in just 10.3 mpg over 23 total games.

To my untrained eye, his play reminded me of former Rocket Vassilis Spanoulis. Or as Daryl Morey would call him, “immediately waivable.”