Tyler Ennis

And-Ones: Title Threats, Ennis, Storylines, Top Coaches

Which team is the Nuggets’ biggest impediment to a second straight title? ESPN’s panel of experts believes the Bucks, Warriors, Suns and Celtics are all potential threats to a Denver repeat. As for just making the playoffs, the Mavericks, Bulls, Timberwolves and Pelicans are among a group of teams that can’t afford to fall short of postseason participation or else risk major rebuilds or superstar demands for trades.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA guard Tyler Ennis has signed with Italy’s Gevi Napoli Basket, according to a team press release. A first-round pick in 2014, Ennis has not played in the NBA since the 2017/18 season, when he appeared in 54 Lakers games. In recent years, Ennis has played mainly in Turkey. He also had a stint with the Raptors’ G League team.
  • The trade demands of James Harden and Damian Lillard, along with Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s future with the Bucks, are some of the storylines that will be closely followed this NBA season, The Athletic’s Sam Amick writes.
  • Who are the top five coaches in the NBA? Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times tackles that subject, ranking the Heat‘s Erik Spoelstra and the Spurs Gregg Popovich first and second. The third choice may surprise some people. Cowley rates the Knicks Tom Thibodeau at that spot due to his ability to take downtrodden franchises and make them playoff teams.

International Notes: Ennis, Dekker, Macon, Adel, Landale

Veteran guard Tyler Ennis and forward Sam Dekker spent a half-season in 2016/17 as teammates with the Rockets. Now, they’re set to team up again for the 2020/21 season — this time, it’ll happen in Turkey rather than in Houston.

Turk Telekom BK published a pair of tweets this week welcoming Ennis and Dekker to the team, an indication that both players have reached deals with the Turkish club.

Ennis and Dekker were 18th overall picks in back-to-back NBA drafts (2014 and 2015), with Ennis appearing in 186 total games for four clubs, while Dekker logged 200 appearances for four clubs. Neither player was in the NBA in 2019/20, as Ennis spent the season with Raptors 905 in the G League, while Dekker played in Russia for Lokomotiv Kuban.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the world of international basketball:

  • Turkish team Galatasaray has signed former Arkansas guard Daryl Macon to a one-year contract, the team announced in a press release. Macon began the 2019/20 season on a two-year deal with Miami, but was waived in January to open up a spot for Gabe Vincent.
  • Former Louisville forward Deng Adel, who was on a two-way contract with Cleveland in 2018/19 and was with the Nets in camp last fall, has signed with the Illawarra Hawks of Australia’s National Basketball League, the team announced in a press release. According to the club, Adel received interest from several others NBL teams before signing with the Hawks.
  • Former Saint Mary’s big man Jock Landale isn’t expected to return to Zalgiris Kaunas for the 2020/21 season, according to Donatas Urbonas (Twitter link). Urbonas previously reported that the Lithuanian team was preparing for Landale to opt out of the final year of his contract and potentially seek an NBA job.

Atlantic Notes: Claxton, Porzingis, Ennis, Sixers

Spencer Dinwiddie, speaking after the debut of Nets rookie center Nicolas Claxton on Friday night in a 119-115 victory against Portland, called the 20 year-old the team’s second-most talented player. Claxton, drafted 31st by Brooklyn this summer, scored eight points on three-of-five shooting from the field and pulled down six boards in just 12 minutes of action.

“So, I still believe [starting center Jarrett Allen] is going to be an All-Star, but Nic is the second-most talented player on this team,” Dinwiddie said, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “[First] is [Kevin Durant], either the first or second most talented scorer of all-time. But Nic’s got game. He’s got a chance [to be great].”

Those comments reflect just how high Dinwiddie is on the rookie, considering he apparently has him ahead of Kyrie Irving on his informal list of Brooklyn’s most talented players. Irving, the Nets’ only healthy current All-Star, is averaging 31.9 points, 7.5 assists, and 5.8 rebounds per game for the 4-4 squad.

Meanwhile, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson lauded Claxton’s defensive awareness: “Just understanding the coverages,” Atkinson noted. “I think one time in the first half we were switching everything and he handled that fantastically. That was part of the reason we drafted him, that he was versatile and could guard five positions, so he proved that.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • As Kristaps Porzingis prepared to suit up last week against the team that drafted him in 2015, The Athletic’s Frank Isola explored the Knicks front office’s alienation of the team’s former franchise player. Trouble began to brew when Porzingis blew off an April 2017 season exit interview with then-team president Phil Jackson and then-GM (now team president) Steve Mills. When pressed about the messy breakup Thursday, Porzingis said, “I’ll probably get in more trouble if I start talking about that stuff.” Isola observes that the Knicks’ returns in the deal have yet to bear much fruit: center DeAndre Jordan joined Brooklyn over the summer, point guard Dennis Smith Jr. was booed in the team’s first home game, and the Knicks have yet to use their two Dallas future first-rounders acquired in the deal.
  • It’s been a season of streaks for the Sixers. After starting out 5-0, the 76ers have lost three straight games on a Western Conference road trip, falling to the fifth seed in the East. Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer posits that the Sixers’ current troubles can be credited to their summer roster overhaul, and that they have too many new faces for continuity at present. New power forward Al Horford and long-term starting center Joel Embiid are still developing their on-court chemistry. When questioned about the team’s recent struggles, Horford observed, “What’s going to help us is the more games we continue to play, the more we get used to playing with one another, everything is going to come together.”
  • Veteran point guard Tyler Ennis made his triumphant return to a basketball game for the Raptors‘ G League affiliate, Raptors 905, 13 months after suffering a gruesome leg injury for Turkish team Fenerbahce. Doug Smith of The Toronto Star has the story and the details on Ennis, who feels that the time off had some unexpected developmental benefits. “I had six, seven, eight months of nothing, so I was able to think, ‘When I get back this is what I want to work on,’ ” Ennis said. “I want to be able to shoot better off the dribble and that’s how we kind of did it, in stages.” Though Smith observes that the parent Raptors could use a third point guard and liked Ennis as far back as the 2014 draft, Ennis is nursing a zen calm about the prospect of a callup: “I kind of just want to let it manifest.”  

Raptors Sign, Waive Tyler Ennis

Point guard Tyler Ennis, who has spent time with four NBA teams, signed with the Raptors Saturday and was immediately waived, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic. The moves were designed to make Ennis an affiliate player for the organization’s G League team, Raptors 905 (Twitter link).

Ennis, who played in Turkey last year, is still recovering from a fractured right tibia that wiped out almost his entire season. The Raptors have liked Ennis, who was born in Canada, for several years and believe he could eventually provide depth in the backcourt.

Ennis was selected by the Suns with the 18th pick in the 2014 draft, but only appeared in eight games before being traded to the Bucks. He also had brief stops with the Rockets and Lakers before being waived in June of 2018.

And-Ones: Hansbrough, Early, T. Ennis

Former NBA lottery pick Tyler Hansbrough will reportedly continue his professional career in China, with Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reporting that the veteran forward has reached an agreement with the Zhejiang Golden Bulls.

Hansbrough, who played seven NBA seasons for the Pacers, Raptors, and Hornets after being drafted 13th overall out of UNC in 2009, last appeared in the league during the 2015/16 season. The 32-year-old spent the 2017/18 campaign in China as well, falling just short of a double-double on the season (20.8 PPG and 9.9 RPG) with Guangzhou.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world, including a couple more notes from overseas:

  • Former Knicks forward Cleanthony Early signed with Rebeldes del Enriquillo, a club in the Dominican Republic, as Nicola Lupo of Sportando relays. Early appeared in 56 NBA games for the Knicks from 2014 to 2016.
  • Tyler Ennis – a 2014 first-rounder who spent time with four NBA teams, including the Lakers – signed with Turkish club Fenerbahce this summer, but will be sidelined for several months after suffering a fractured right tibia. Ennis underwent surgery to repair the injury, the team announced (hat tip to Sportando).
  • A growing number of teams in the NBA and G League are adding female assistant coaches to their staffs, with the Greensboro Swarm – the Hornets‘ NBAGL affiliate – among them. That trend is “great for the NBA,” according to Hornets head coach James Borrego, who arrived in Charlotte this offseason after serving on the Spurs‘ staff for years. “It speaks to our league, the diversity, the openness, the inclusion and I’m proud to be part of that, part of a league that’s open to that,” Borrego told Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. “I’ve been around Becky Hammon for a number of years now. These are bright women that belong in our league.”
  • After playing in the NBA for 13 seasons, Antonio Davis battled depression and mental health issues following his retirement. Now, as Branden Peters of The Athletic details, Davis is serving as the director for the NBA’s “Off the Court” program, a program aimed at helping players transition to the next phase of their life when their playing careers end.

And-Ones: Tax Projections, Bargain Signings, Ennis

By waiving and stretching Kyle Singler, the Thunder will reduce their projected tax bill to about $73.75MM, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, who lists the current penalties for the other clubs above the tax line as well. As Marks observes, teams hovering near the tax line should make every effort to finish the season below that threshold, since the non-taxpayers will be in line for a financial windfall. Currently, the league’s 22 non-taxpaying teams project to receive $4.88MM apiece in distribution money from eight taxpayers.

Let’s round up a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world…

  • While the usual suspects like DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas top Jesse Blancarte’s Basketball Insiders list of this summer’s most team-friendly contracts, Blancarte also identifies Ed Davis (Nets), Greg Monroe (Raptors), and Seth Curry (Trail Blazers) as potential bargains.
  • Having signed with Fenerbahce earlier this summer, former Lakers point guard Tyler Ennis is excited about joining the Turkish powerhouse, as Antonis Stroggylakis of Eurohoops.net relays. “I started to got messages from our fans before I signed my contract,” Ennis told FB TV. “That was a huge support for me in that process. I can’t wait to get on the court and show them what I got.”
  • Jamal Murray (Nuggets), Brandon Ingram (Lakers), and Jaylen Brown (Celtics) are among the potential breakout players named by Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders in an article on players who could take a third-year leap.
  • A number of star players can hit free agency in 2019 and there should be plenty of teams with cap room available. Danny Leroux of The Athletic suggests that another interesting factor related to 2019’s free agent period involves all the star players who are already on long-term contracts. A team like the Lakers, for instance, with LeBron James locked up through at least 2021, will be able to sell potential targets on “a finished product rather than patience and possibility,” Leroux writes.

International Notes: Perrantes, Ennis, Martin, Henderson

Two European teams are hoping to sign former Cavaliers two-way player London Perrantes, according to Nicola Lupo of Sportando. The French club Limoges has expressed interest in Perrantes, who received a two-year offer on Friday from Olimpia Milano in Italy, which plans to loan him to VL Pesaro during his first season.

Cleveland waived the 23-year-old point guard last month after one season with the organization. Perrantes appeared in 14 games for the Cavs and averaged less than five minutes per night. His G League numbers were much better as he posted an 11.9/3.4/7.8 line while starting 35 games for the Canton Charge.

A four-year player at Virginia, Perrantes got the opportunity in Cleveland just before the start of last season. Prior to that, he had been signed and waived by the Spurs.

There’s more overseas news to pass along:

  • Former Laker Tyler Ennisdecision to sign with Fenerbahce is examined by Kostas Giataganas of Eurohoops. Ennis will join ex-Spur Joffrey Lauvergne on the Turkish club and will follow his brother Dylan, who played in Europe last season. Ennis was waived by the Lakers in June before his $1.7MM contract for next season became guaranteed. He appeared in 54 games for L.A. last year, averaging 4.1 points per night.
  • Hassan Martin, who had an impressive performance with the Celtics‘ summer league team, is headed to Germany, Lupo relays in a separate piece. The former Rhode Island forward averaged 10 points and six rebounds per game in Las Vegas. He played in Japan last year.
  • Former Hornets G Leaguer Terry Henderson has signed with Scaligera Verona in Italy, also according to Lupo. The one-time North Carolina State guard averaged 11.3 points in 42 games with the Greensboro Swarm last season.

FA Rumors: Ferrell, Goodwin, Muhammad

After having seemingly reached a two-year contract agreement with the Mavericks, Yogi Ferrell elected this morning to re-enter free agency. However, he doesn’t intend to drag out the process. According to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link), Ferrell plans to make a decision within the next day or so.

Ferrell has received some interest from a handful of teams, including the Cavaliers and Pelicans, Charania reports, though a source tells Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that Cleveland’s interest came early in free agency. The Cavs haven’t had contact with Ferrell’s agent during the last couple weeks, says MacMahon.

As for New Orleans, the Pelicans used their full mid-level exception on Julius Randle and spent most of their bi-annual exception on Elfrid Payton. As such, the club couldn’t offer Ferrell more than the minimum. An offer that modest seems unlikely to win out, though it’s worth noting that a fully guaranteed two-year minimum contract would feature more guaranteed money than the Mavs’ offer did.

As we wait to see where Ferrell lands, here are a few more notes and rumors on free agents:

  • Multiple NBA teams have expressed interest in former first-round pick Archie Goodwin, tweets Michael Scotto of The Athletic. However, Goodwin is seriously considering a lucrative contract offer from a Chinese team and is expected to head overseas unless an NBA team offers him a fully guaranteed salary for 2018/19, per Scotto.
  • In a conversation with Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype, free agent wing Shabazz Muhammad – another former first-round pick – says he’s in the best shape of his life. Muhammed, who remains on the lookout for a new NBA home, is also trying to improve his outside shooting, telling Kalbrosky that he’s shooting hundreds of corner threes every day.
  • Veteran NBA point guard Tyler Ennis, who was waived by the Lakers in June, has signed a two-year deal with Fenerbahce Istanbul, according to the EuroLeague’s official site. Before heading to Europe, Ennis appeared in 186 NBA games over the last four seasons, spending time with the Suns, Bucks, Rockets, and Lakers.

Lakers Release Tyler Ennis

The Lakers have released guard Tyler Ennis, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports tweets. His $1.7MM contract was set to become guaranteed on July 5th.

Ennis played 54 games for the Lakers last season after signing on with the franchise partway through 2016/17. He started 11 games for the club in 2017/18 with Lonzo Ball on the sidelines.

The 23-year-old Canadian averaged 4.1 points per game in his first full season with the team but struggled to find a role when the playmakers ahead of him on the depth chart were healthy. Los Angeles was Ennis’ third stop since getting drafted 18th overall by the Suns back in 2014.

Lakers  beat writer Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times expects the club to target a veteran point guard once their big dominoes start to fall into place.

Pacific Notes: Gallinari, Williams, Ennis

Newly acquired Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari has broken his hand punching an opponent in an exhibition match with the Italian national team, a EuroHoops.net report (via NBA.com) reveals.

The 28-year-old recently picked up by the Clippers in a three-way sign-and-trade deal lashed out at Jito Kok of the Dutch national team and promptly left the game to visit the hospital, the report says.

Per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, it was his thumb that Gallinari injured but the setback isn’t expected to keep him out of Clippers training camp. Surgery is not expected.

There’s more from the Pacific Division: