JULY 26, 1:14pm: The Lakers have officially re-signed Ennis, the team announced today in a press release. Barring another cost-cutting move, it appears L.A. is now capped out.
JULY 25, 3:39pm: The Lakers have reached an agreement to bring back free agent guard Tyler Ennis, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN (Twitter link). Shelburne reports that Ennis will get a two-year, minimum salary deal with a team option on the second year.
Ennis, who will turn 23 next month, was selected by the Suns with the 18th overall pick in the 2014 draft, but has bounced around the league since then. In addition to spending a little time in Phoenix, Ennis has also had stints with the Bucks, Rockets, and Lakers, appearing in 132 total regular season contests.
While Ennis hasn’t been able to stick with one team for long, the Lakers “really liked” what they saw from him down the stretch in 2016/17 after acquiring him at the deadline, tweets Shelburne. The Canadian point guard averaged 7.7 PPG, 2.4 APG, and 0.9 SPG, with a shooting line of .451/.389/.864 in 22 games as a Laker. All of those averages would have been career highs for a full season.
The Lakers were rumored to be considering Ennis, Derrick Rose, and other guards in recent weeks. The club displayed serious interest in Rose, but the former MVP committed to the Cavaliers on Monday night, prompting L.A. to move quickly to lock up Ennis.
The timing of Ennis’ signing will be interesting to keep an eye on. Currently, the Lakers have $815,615 in cap room remaining, which is exactly enough to sign a rookie, such as Thomas Bryant. The club could still sign Bryant using the minimum salary exception after signing Ennis and going over the cap, but a deal with that exception is limited to two years. If the Lakers wait to officially finalize Ennis’ contract, it’s likely a signal that they hope to use that remaining cap room to sign Bryant or another rookie to a three- or four-year pact.