James Ennis

James Ennis Signs With Russian Team

Veteran forward James Ennis has signed a contract to play in Russia with BC Samara, the team announced in a press release (hat tip to Alessandro Maggi of Sportando).

The 32-year-old most recently played in Israel with Hapoel Haifa, as our JD Shaw reported back in March. Ennis averaged 14.3 PPG, 4.9 RPG and 1.2 SPG on .402/.383/.804 shooting in nine games with Haifa, per RealGM.

Ennis has played parts of eight seasons in the NBA, including a trio of 10-day deals with three different teams (the Nets, Clippers and Nuggets) last season for a total of seven games. In 2020/21, Ennis played 41 games (37 starts, 24.0 MPG) for Orlando, averaging 8.4 PPG and 4.0 RPG on .473/.433/.805 shooting.

In total, he has appeared in 395 NBA games (140 starts, 20.3 MPG) with averages of 6.7 PPG and 3.3 RPG on .457/.360/.797 shooting for Miami, Memphis, New Orleans, Detroit, Houston and Philadelphia, as well as the aforementioned teams.

James Ennis To Sign With Israeli Team

Free agent forward James Ennis has agreed to a lucrative deal in Israel with Hapoel Haifa, sources told Hoops Rumors. Ennis will head overseas for the first time since the 2013/14 season.

Ennis, who has signed 10-day contracts with the Nets, Clippers and Nuggets since December, plans to leave the door open for an eventual NBA return, sources said.

After being selected with the 50th overall pick in the 2013 draft, Ennis began his professional career as a draft-and-stash player, spending a year in Australia and Puerto Rico before coming stateside in 2014.

An eight-year NBA veteran, Ennis has since appeared in 395 regular season games. In addition to Brooklyn, Los Angeles and Denver, he has also made stops in Miami, Memphis, New Orleans, Detroit, Houston, Philadelphia and Orlando since making his NBA debut.

In 41 games with Orlando last season, Ennis averaged 8.4 points per game and made 43.3% of his three-point attempts, the second-highest mark of his career. The 31-year-old also showed versatility by guarding multiple positions defensively.

Hapoel Haifa currently ranks seventh in the 12-team Israeli Basketball Premier League with a 9-8 record, putting the club on track to qualify for the eight-team postseason. Ennis will join former Celtics and Knicks guard Kadeem Allen as the players on the roster who have NBA experience.

Nuggets Sign James Ennis To 10-Day Contract

6:53pm: The signing is official, according to a team press release.

2:04pm: The Nuggets intend to sign forward James Ennis to a 10-day contract, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link), who says the plan is for Ennis to be available for Tuesday’s game vs. the Clippers.

The Nuggets, who have a full 15-man roster, will sign Ennis using a hardship exception. Will Barton has entered the health and safety protocols, per Charania (Twitter link), making the team eligible for a new hardship addition when Carlik Jones‘ 10-day contract expires tonight.

Denver is also reportedly likely to sign DeMarcus Cousins to a 10-day contract. The team doesn’t have any players besides Barton in the protocols, but will qualify for a non-COVID hardship exception because at least four players are on the shelf with long-term injuries.

Less than 24 hours ago, it looked like Ennis would be joining another Northwest team, having reportedly lined up a 10-day deal with Utah. However, the Jazz decided to sign Denzel Valentine instead after Ennis was said to be a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Presumably, the Nuggets are confident that Ennis will clear the testing process.

Ennis has already played for two other teams this season, having signed 10-day contracts with both the Nets and the Clippers. The 31-year-old averaged 6.3 PPG and 2.5 RPG in four games (10.5 MPG) with those two teams. Last season in Orlando, he recorded 8.4 PPG and 4.0 RPG on .473/.433/.805 shooting in 41 games (24.0 MPG).

Jazz Sign Denzel Valentine To 10-Day Contract

JANUARY 10, 1:02pm: The Jazz have officially signed Valentine to a 10-day contract, according to NBA.com’s transactions log.

Utah pivoted away from Ennis because he was a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and the Jazz wanted to make sure their newly-added player could be cleared in advance of Monday’s game vs. Detroit, Charania tweets.

JANUARY 9, 7:12pm: Utah no longer plans to sign James Ennis to a 10-day contract, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Instead, the team will sign forward Denzel Valentine in his place, Wojnarowski tweets.

Valentine holds five years of NBA experience and most recently played in Cleveland. He has appeared in 254 games in his career, averaging 7.0 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. In his 22 games with the Cavaliers this season, he averaged 2.9 PPG in 9.3 MPG, shooting 37.1% from the floor.

JANUARY 9, 5:52pm: The Jazz plan to sign veteran forward James Ennis to a 10-day contract, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Ennis most recently played on 10-day contracts with the Nets and Clippers.

Utah lost forwards Rudy Gay and Elijah Hughes to the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Sunday, opening space to add Ennis to the rotation. The team is also missing Rudy Gobert and Joe Ingles due to the protocols.

For his career, Ennis has averaged 6.7 points and 3.3 rebounds in 20.4 minutes per game across 392 appearances, making stops with nine different NBA teams. In 41 games with the Magic last season, the 31-year-old averaged 8.4 PPG and 4.0 RPG, shooting 43.3% from three-point range.

Utah owns the third-best record in the Western Conference at 28-12. The team is also 17-3 at home and has upcoming games against Detroit on Monday and Cleveland on Wednesday.

James Ennis Signs With Clippers

DECEMBER 29: The Clippers have officially signed Ennis to a 10-day hardship deal, the team announced today. The contract will run through January 7, covering L.A.’s next five games.

DECEMBER 28: Veteran forward James Ennis is expected to sign a 10-day hardship contract with the Clippers, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Ennis’ 10-day contract with the Nets expired last night and our JD Shaw reported today (via Twitter) that the team didn’t plan to sign him to a second deal. Ironically, Ennis made a cameo appearance against the Clippers on Monday. He also played one other game for the Nets.

The well-traveled Ennis appeared in 41 games for the Magic last season, including 37 starts. He averaged 8.4 PPG and 4.0 RPG in 24.0 MPG. He failed to find a free agent offer after  playing out his one-year, $3.3MM contract with Orlando.

The Clippers currently have three players in the league’s health and safety protocols.

Nets Sign James Ennis, Shaq Harrison Via Hardship Exemption

DECEMBER 18: Brooklyn has signed both players, the team tweets.

DECEMBER 16: The Nets are planning to use the hardship exemption to sign forward James Ennis, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. They will also give Shaquille Harrison a 10-day deal using the same exemption, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets.

The team was missing seven players on Thursday due to health and safety protocols — James Harden, Bruce Brown, Paul Millsap, Jevon Carter, James Johnson, LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre’ Bembry. Joe Harris is recovering from ankle surgery.

Despite being shorthanded, Brooklyn won its fourth straight by downing Philadelphia 114-105. The club had only nine players available, including Langston Galloway, who received a 10-day contract on Thursday using the exemption.

The well-travelled Ennis appeared in 41 games for the Magic last season, including 37 starts. He averaged 8.4 PPG and 4.0 RPG in 24.0 MPG. He failed to find a free agent offer after  playing out his one-year, $3.3MM contract with Orlando.

Harrison played a combined 34 regular-season games off the bench for the Jazz and Nuggets last season. He also appeared in nine playoff games for Denver. He was waived by the Sixers during training camp.

Prior to Thursday’s game, Nets coach Steve Nash expressed concern about overusing Kevin Durant.

“I don’t know we can continue to lean on him the way we have,” he said, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “It doesn’t feel right.”

New York Notes: Quickley, Robinson, Durant, Ennis

Immanuel Quickley has become the latest Knicks player to enter the NBA’s health and safety protocols, the team announced today (via Twitter). Quickley joins RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, Kevin Knox, and Quentin Grimes in the protocols, as COVID-19 continues to drain New York’s roster of available players. If Quickley tested positive for the virus, he’ll be out for the next 10 days or until he can return two consecutive negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York teams:

  • Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News interprets a recent Instagram story from Mitchell Robinson as the Knicks center once again cryptically griping about his role. Robinson, who scored two points in 14 minutes on Tuesday vs. Golden State, said in his Instagram story that he was “literally running for cardio,” insinuating that he wants the ball more, according to Bondy.
  • Nets head coach Steve Nash badly wants to find a way to reduce Kevin Durant‘s workload, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Durant is averaging 37.0 minutes per game this season, including 41.0 MPG over his last nine games with the team shorthanded. “I know he’s enjoying playing at the rate he’s playing at and trying to bring his teammates along with him and all the responsibility that he’s accepted and crushed, basically,” Nash said. “It’s just been incredible. But, at the same time, it’s not safe or sustainable to lean on him like that. There’s gonna be a lot of consideration and we’ll have to figure out ways to give him breaks.”
  • Blake Griffin, who played with James Ennis in Detroit, is happy that the Nets are signing his former teammate. “Great guy, plays hard, great defense,” Griffin said of Ennis (Twitter link via Brian Lewis of The New York Post). “Kind of just one of those guys that can do a little bit of everything.”

Western Notes: Ennis, Lakers, Suns, Little, Jazz

Free agent forward James Ennis worked out for the Lakers this week, sources tell Jovan Buha of The Athletic (Twitter link). Ennis, who was linked to Los Angeles earlier in free agency, would make sense as a depth piece on the wing for the Lakers, who only have 13 players on guaranteed contracts.

As we relayed earlier today, the Lakers figure to keep their 15th roster spot open during the regular season to keep their projected tax bill in check, but the 14th spot remains up for grabs.

Here’s more from around the West:

  • The Suns issued a press release today announcing some additions to their coaching staff, including Michael Ruffin as an assistant. Ruffin has some experience working under Monty Williams in the past, having served as an assistant on the Pelicans’ staff from 2014-20. The 2014/15 season was Williams’ last as New Orleans’ head coach.
  • Nassir Little, the 25th pick in the 2019 draft, hasn’t made a major impact for the Trail Blazers during his first two years in the NBA, but he has turned heads this offseason, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic. Quick says team officials are intrigued by Little and believe he can “contribute in a way that is unique.” While the 21-year-old figures to play mostly a three-and-D role, Little says new head coach Chauncey Billups also wants to see him improve his play-making skills.
  • Sarah Todd of The Deseret News examines nine questions the Jazz should answer by the end of training camp next week, including whether their star guards – Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley – are healthy and pain-free after dealing with injuries late last season.

Scotto’s Latest: Blazers, Beasley, Patterson, Ennis, More

The Trail Blazers have 13 players with guaranteed contracts on their roster and have added Dennis Smith Jr. and Marquese Chriss on non-guaranteed deals to vie for one of the team’s open roster spots. However, that competition may end up including more veterans than just Smith and Chriss.

According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the Trail Blazers are eyeing other free agent forwards as possible training camp invitees. Michael Beasley, who played for Portland’ Summer League team, is one possibility. The club is also eyeing veteran stretch four Patrick Patterson, says Scotto.

The Blazers still only have 16 players under contract, which means there are four more spots available on their 20-man offseason roster.

As we wait to see how Portland fills those openings, here are a few more items of interest from Scotto:

  • Having previously identified the Bulls as one team interested in free agent wing James Ennis, Scotto adds a few more clubs to that list, suggesting that Ennis has also drawn interest from the Trail Blazers, Lakers, and Magic. Ennis, who has spent most of the last two seasons in Orlando, knocked down 43.3% of his three-point attempts in 2020/21.
  • Another player who has received interest from the Trail Blazers is big man Isaiah Hartenstein, according to Scotto, who says the Clippers have kicked the tires on the former Cav as well. As I detailed on Tuesday, Hartenstein is the only player who is still a free agent after declining an option earlier this summer.
  • Before he signed with Chicago, Alize Johnson generated interest from a handful of other teams, including the Clippers, Suns, and Knicks, per Scotto. If the Clippers had wanted Johnson badly enough, they could’ve claimed him off waivers using one of their trade exceptions, which wasn’t an option for Phoenix or New York.

Central Notes: Millsap, Bulls Offseason, Simmons, Ehambe

With Paul Millsap agreeing to join the Nets, the Bulls don’t have a lot of attractive free agent options to add to their frontcourt depth, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago notes. Millsap strongly considered the Bulls but they now have to shift gears. They could bid for restricted free agent Jarred Vanderbilt, take a flier on D.J. Wilson or add an international player to fortify the power forward spot. They could also sign small forward James Ennis and use him in smaller lineups, Johnson adds. Otherwise, they may have to pursue a trade.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Bulls improved their roster with their busy offseason but it’s fair to wonder whether all of those changes made sense as a whole, Zach Harper of The Athletic opines. While they have upgraded in the backcourt and the wing spots with the additions of Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso and DeMar DeRozan, their frontcourt options have thinned.
  • Pursuing a trade for Ben Simmons doesn’t make sense for the Pistons, James Edwards of The Athletic contends. In a deal with the Sixers, Detroit would likely have to part with Jerami Grant and at least one of their top young players as well as draft picks, and adding Simmons’ contract would limit their flexibility to make other moves. It also wouldn’t help their issues regarding 3-point shooting, Edwards adds.
  • Moses Ehambe is grateful he got the opportunity to be an assistant with the Pacers, though he was not retained in the aftermath of Nate Bjorkgren’s departure, Scott Agness of FieldhouseFiles writes. “This is where you want to be,” Ehambe said in the comprehensive interview. “Now it’s about staying.”