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.