James Ennis To Opt Out, Become Free Agent

Sixers swingman James Ennis will turn down his player option for the 2019/20 season, league sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The decision, which agent Scott Nichols confirmed to JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link), will put Ennis on track to reach unrestricted free agency in July.

Ennis, who will turn 29 on the same day he hits the open market on July 1, spent most of the 2018/19 season with the Rockets before being dealt to the Sixers in a cost-cutting deadline deal. After posting 7.4 PPG on .493/.367/.724 shooting in 40 games (25 starts) for Houston, Ennis struggled in Philadelphia and saw those averages decline to 5.3 PPG on .410/.306/.696 shooting.

Still, given the 76ers’ limited depth, Ennis played a key role off the bench for the club in the postseason. In the team’s second-round series vs. Toronto, he posted 7.9 PPG, 4.0 RPG, and 1.1 APG on .442/.304/.588 shooting in 22.7 minutes per contest.

While those numbers won’t earn Ennis a massive payday, his two-way abilities should put him in position for a raise after he earned the minimum in 2018/19. His player option would have paid him just $1,845,301. According to Charania (via Twitter), the former second-round pick is expected to command a multiyear contract this offseason.

While a reunion with the Sixers isn’t out of the question, the team’s ability to re-sign Ennis will be extremely limited. Philadelphia will only hold his Non-Bird rights, so cap room or an exception would likely be required to bring him back. The 76ers also figure to be more focused on retaining players like Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, and J.J. Redick.

For more on player option decisions for 2019/20, be sure to check out our tracker.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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8 thoughts on “James Ennis To Opt Out, Become Free Agent

  1. hiflew

    I foresee him being a bad contract next year if he gets a 3-4 year deal. I consider anyone on at least a 3 year deal a foundational piece. Ennis is a decent NBA journeyman, but he is not someone you use as a foundational piece. He is one of the one year deals that you should surround your foundational pieces with.

  2. Ennis was a steal at minimum, even with the player option (at minimum). It was Houston’s best FA signing of the off season, because his 3&D game fits what they do. Then they gave him away at the deadline for (essentially) nothing, but getting rid of his minimum salary to get under the luxury tax. Strange for a team with an owner that (per him) doesn’t care about paying luxury tax.

    • x%sure

      @hiflew,DXC- I think that owner Fertita is the one who is “not someone you [want] as a foundational piece”.

      • Yes. When an NBA team owner responds to a question about his willingness to pay luxury tax with a boast about his private jet, I’m suspicious. I don’t have a private jet, but I know people who do. None of them (nor all of them together) could come close to buying an NBA team (without a level of debt that would necessitate bank fraud). I don’t if he’s Bruce Ratner (cheap) or Frank McCourt (broke, relative to other NBA owners), but, if I were a Rocket fan, I wouldn’t like his response. I’d want to hear a boast like “I once added a few 100 mm to a casino renovation just to impress a girl”.

        • x%sure

          So private jet owners are the middle class of the filthy rich?– Fortunately “my” Cavs owner also owns Rocket Mortgages! (And bought Rockets debt for the #25 pick)

      • hiflew

        Fair point, but he is not really a foundational piece. He is the homeowner.

        • x%sure

          Well they all have to wait for a dry day so the guy with the backhoe outfit can get busy.

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