James Ennis Signs To Play In Australia

It's seemed likely for the past few days that 50th overall pick James Ennis would wind up overseas rather than with the Heat this season, and now that indeed appears to be the case. The Perth Wildcats of the Australian National Basketball League have announced on their website that they've signed the former Long Beach State small forward. The deal includes an NBA out for this season if an opportunity with the Heat arises, though Ennis almost certainly won't be playing stateside this season, barring a trade or a rash of injuries for Miami.

The Hawks originally drafted Ennis, but traded his rights to the Heat on draft night in exchange for a future second-round pick. Miami's 2017 second-rounder will go to Atlanta, unless it falls between 31st and 40th overall, according to RealGM.com. If it does, the Hawks get the Heat's 2018 second-rounder.

Ennis, 23, has a 6'11.5" wingspan despite his 6'7" height, as DraftExpress.com shows. He averaged 16.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in a breakout senior year this past season in college. Ennis backed it up last month with a 12.7 PPG, 4.7 RPG effort in seven summer league contests with the Heat.

The Heat will retain the NBA rights to Ennis in perpetuity until they bring him to camp, trade him, or renounce those rights. The Scott Nichols client had offers from France and Russia, but the NBA out for this season prompted him to sign with Perth, his agent tells Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Twitter link). If Ennis does sign with the Heat this season, he'll still receive the full value of his Australian contract, Nichols says to Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida (Twitter link).

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