Rockets Sign Forward James Ennis

JULY 13, 6:57pm: The signing is official, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

JULY 11, 4:36pm: The Rockets will sign free agent forward James Ennis, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, who reports (via Twitter) that Houston and Ennis have agreed to a two-year deal. The second year will be a player option, Charania adds.James Ennis of the Detroit Pistons

Ennis is a logical three-and-D addition for a Rockets team that has lost Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute on the wing so far this offseason. A career 35.9% shooter from three-point range, Ennis averaged 7.1 PPG and 3.1 RPG in 72 total games last year with the Grizzlies and Pistons.

Although Ennis was inconsistent from beyond the arc after arriving in Detroit in a deadline trade, the Pistons were said to have “significant interest” in re-signing him entering free agency. Upon officially hitting the market, Ennis reportedly drew interest from the Sixers, Nets, Pelicans, Timberwolves, and Rockets. The Kings also made a strong push for Ennis in recent days, per Charania, but Houston ultimately won out.

According to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle, the Rockets were able to secure Ennis for the veteran’s minimum, which means his deal will be worth about $3.47MM over two years. That would be a big win for Houston, as the team will still have its full taxpayer mid-level exception ($5.337MM) available to offer other free agents.

According to Ian Begley of ESPN.com though, Ennis’ two-year deal will be worth about $4MM, which would require a portion of the MLE unless some generous rounding is involved. We’ll await further clarification.

Having re-signed Chris Paul and Gerald Green, Houston’s main focus in free agency now will be retaining restricted free agent Clint Capela. However, as their deal with Ennis shows, the Rockets still have the flexibility to fill in other holes in their roster while they try to find common ground with Capela. The club is viewed as the frontrunner to land Carmelo Anthony when he reaches the open market.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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13 thoughts on “Rockets Sign Forward James Ennis

  1. diller79

    Perfect replacement for Ariza. He fits well in the offense because all he does in bang 3s and attack the rim for layups. Also is an above average perimeter defender with length

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  2. formerlyz

    Well, they get their 3 and D wing. As I said previously, with the young guys they have, even though they lost Ariza, they’re arguably a lot deeper. They’ll be ok.

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    • hopper15

      I wouldn’t say it’s the perfect replacement for Ariza but it’s a solid addition.

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      • formerlyz

        I didnt say it was a perfect replacement for Ariza. I’m just saying it helps fill in some of what was lost there. As a Heat fan, I know a lot about James Ennis. He is very talented, but can be inconsistent in some areas. He is capable on the defensive end though, and plays hard.

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  3. Good pick @ minimum. Not the defender the two guys they lost are, nor a great shooter – but this is a minnie and he can defend and hit the 3. He and Gerald Green (another minnie) fit the MDA mold. Tucker is still there. Too bad (for them) that CP3 and Harden are going to make them sign Melo.

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    • formerlyz

      Melo shot 37.3 percent on catch and shoot threes within an OKC offense that had no space on the floor. No team shot more wide open threes with more regularity, and only the Brooklyn Nets shot more standstill 3s. That pretty much tells you what I’ve been saying. How is it Melos fault the rest of that team cant shoot?

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      • Is that one stat (pedestrian as it is) supposed to say Melo shot well? FYI, it doesn’t. The big picture:

        OKC was a poor good shooting team. But Melo was a BIG part of the problem. Melo’s FG% (a pathetic 40%) and eFG% (47%) was well BELOW even OKC’s poor team averages. Melo’s overall 3 pt % (35.7%) was barely above OKC’s overall average (35.4%, held down by Westbrook’s outlier bad season from behind the arc, under 30%), and well below league average (36.5%) and OKC’s non-Westbrook average. BTW, PG13 had no problem shooting over 40% from 3 with the same group.

        So, if the team couldn’t shoot, how bad a shooter was Melo? Certain worse than the team as a whole. That’s how it’s Melo’s “fault” – he brought the team’s averages down.

        When you factor in his horrific defense, his demoralizing lack of hustle and accountability, and his unwillingness to accept a role consistent with his current skills, he’s addition by subtraction for the Thunder. The two stars wanted him gone.

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        • formerlyz

          The only 2 people that can shoot on that entire team was Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. Lol the fact you call westbrook’s 3% an outlier is hilarious. Westbrook has never been a 3 point shooter. Roberson when healthy is a garbage shooter. Jerami Grant is not a shooter. Steven Adams obviously isnt a shooter. Patrick Patterson wasnt healthy pretty much all season and didnt shoot the way he is capable of. That team had no depth, but the guys they used dont shoot, with the exception of Abrines, who was super inconsistent and cant play defense…

          Billy Donovans non offense and the rest of the teams ability to space the floor was their problem, not Carmelo Anthony.

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          • x%sure

            I have never heard this argument put forth for a leading player before. A good shooter shoots better than Melo did. He had plenty of help in distracting an opponent. How many players have a PGeorge-type shooter on the other side? The OKC year was generally a fail and now he’s on a comeback trail. Melo needs to fit in and think about efficiency.

            It is possible CPaul can get to him more than anyone else, and Dantoni with previous experience will indulge him the right amount.

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            • formerlyz

              Houston has an offensive system, even though most of the time they watch Harden dribble. They still have some awareness of ball movement, and regardless, they have the shooters to knock down shots created for them…OKC has Billy Donovan, same as Scott Brooks. Let Westbrook and Paul George take turns dribbling is their offense, but besides Melo, they dont have anyone that can knock down those open shots that are created for them.

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          • What does it really matter what other individual players shoot? Melo was below league average in all of 2pt FG%, 3pt FG% and eFG %. And, while OKC was a bottom tier team shooting team, Melo was below even OKC’s average in two of three, and essentially the same in the other. The only rational conclusion is that OKC had a lot of bad shooters, and Melo is one of them. Per you, Melo’s feeble shooting is the result of other OKC players and OKC’s coaches? Then why was Melo’s an even worse 3 pt shooter before showing up in OKC. I guess it’s just a series horrible teammates for 15 years. Wow, poor guy. Are his teammates and coaches responsible for his pathetic defense as well?

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            • formerlyz

              If you dont understand spacing, nothing I say will change your hateful opinion of Carmelo Anthony

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