The Grizzlies have waived James Ennis, the team announced via press release. The move appears to be a precursor to a deal for the rest of the season with Ryan Hollins, who’s set to sign, according to Marc J. Spears of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports. It’s tough luck for Ennis, the 50th pick in the 2013 draft, who won’t be able to participate in the playoffs for another team this season but would have been eligible for the postseason had his release come as late as Tuesday night.
Cutting Ennis gives Memphis an open spot beneath the 15-man roster limit. His deal is for the minimum salary this season and next, with no guarantee on his pay for next season, so Memphis is poised to eat only about $200K if he clears waivers. It’s a three-year contract he signed in the summer of 2014 with Miami, so only teams with trade exceptions or cap room can claim him, The Vertical’s Bobby Marks notes (Twitter link).
Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal wrote earlier this week that he believed Ennis would be the likeliest to go if the team wanted to sign someone, so today’s news proves him right. The 25-year-old Ennis totaled only 40 minutes spread over 10 appearances with the Grizzlies in the months since Memphis acquired him in the Mario Chalmers trade. He went on eight separate trips to the D-League in the meantime, racking up 16.7 points in 33.1 minutes per contest over 15 D-League games.
Ennis and agent Scott Nichols twice worked out amended terms with the Heat that helped him stay under contract prior to the trade. The changes pushed back the dates upon which salary guarantees would kick in for this season, but Ennis avoided getting cut before the end of January 7th, which locked in his full $845,059 salary.