A week ago, the Rockets appeared to be on the verge of parting ways with Tyler Ennis, despite having just acquired him in a trade last month. Houston ultimately decided to waive Pablo Prigioni instead, keeping Ennis, but the team isn’t ready to make a multiyear commitment to the former Buck. According to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (via Twitter), the Rockets won’t exercise Ennis’ 2017/18 team option in advance of today’s deadline.
Ennis, who will earn a guaranteed $1.734MM salary in 2016/17, would have been in line for a pay increase to $2.667MM next year if Houston had exercised his option. Instead, he’ll head into the summer of 2017 as an unrestricted free agent. That doesn’t necessarily mean the 22-year-old will leave the Rockets, who could still re-sign him, but he’ll get a chance to explore the open market in July.
The 18th overall pick in the 2014 draft, Ennis started his career with the Suns before being sent to the Bucks at the 2015 trade deadline. He was moved again in September in exchange for veteran forward Michael Beasley. In 82 total career NBA games so far, Ennis has averaged just 4.0 PPG and 2.2 APG in 13.4 minutes per game, while posting a shooting line of .405/.294/.732. He scored just a single basket in three games for the Rockets during the first week of this season, though he also picked up nine assists and a pair of steals in that stretch.
As we noted earlier this morning, Ennis was one of six players still on an NBA roster whose rookie-scale option for 2017/18 had yet to be exercised. The full recap of this year’s decisions can be found right here.