2:05pm: The signing is official, the team announced. The contract will cover six games, against the Spurs, Nuggets, Nets, Sixers, Celtics and Lakers.
1:31pm: The NBA has indeed given the Pelicans another hardship provision for an 18th roster spot, as Jim Eichenhofer of the team’s website confirms. Eichenhofer doesn’t mention Ennis but suggests the team may make a signing as soon as today. New Orleans has a two-day window from the time the league grants the provision to use it.
8:47am: The Pelicans will sign former Heat and Grizzlies swingman James Ennis, sources tell Scott Kushner of The New Orleans Advocate (Twitter links). The move appears to be a signal that the NBA has given New Orleans another hardship exception for an extra roster spot. Seven Pelicans are out for the season with injuries, including Jrue Holiday and Alonzo Gee, whose season-ending maladies the team announced Tuesday. The Pelicans already have 17 players under contract, two over the normal limit.
Memphis waived Ennis on March 2nd to make room on its roster for Ryan Hollins, and somewhat curiously, the Grizzlies and Ennis haven’t circled back to each other even as the team has made a flurry of moves and received multiple hardship exceptions amid a rash of injuries similar to the trouble the Pelicans have gone through. The Grizzlies nonetheless seemed to have little use for the 25-year-old who was the 50th overall pick in 2013, sending him on eight D-League assignments and only putting him on the floor in 10 games at the NBA level.
Ennis began the season with the Heat, for whom he saw much more playing time before they shipped him out in November via the Mario Chalmers trade. The Heat never sent Ennis to the D-League once they signed him in 2014, and he averaged 5.0 points in 17.0 minutes per game across 62 appearances for Miami last season.
He’ll see $49,709 on his 10-day contract with New Orleans and add to a shrinking reserve of healthy Pelicans. Dante Cunningham, Omer Asik, Luke Babbitt, Toney Douglas, Tim Frazier, Jordan Hamilton, Kendrick Perkins and Alexis Ajinca are the only New Orleans players without some sort of ailment, The Advocate’s Brett Dawson notes (Twitter link).