Last season, James Ennis showed promise with Miami. After a year playing in Australia, he showed NBA athleticism and the possibility to develop into a “3&D” guy early on, then took advantage at times of his opportunity later in the season. If he could develop consistency with his shot (32.6 percent from three) and defense, he could be a rotation player.
But at Summer League and through workouts, Ennis seems to have plateaued, if not outright regressed. That leaves the Long Beach State grad in danger of not making the Miami roster, reports Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald (adding to what others have said).
Barring trades involving Mario Chalmers or Chris Andersen, forward James Ennis appears the only incumbent Heat player at risk of being cut, with his $845,059 salary becoming fully guaranteed on Oct. 28. Ennis, who disappointed the Heat in summer league, is fortunate that the Heat hasn’t used its roster spots on an established veteran who wants to be here (such as Rasual Butler, who expressed interest).
The Heat players who have been signed to spots 16 through 19 are viewed as D-League players, though forward Greg Whittington could challenge Ennis. If Ennis struggles in camp, the Heat will consider keeping the 15th roster spot open until something intriguing comes along.
NBA training camps tend to be without “Hard Knocks” kind of drama (thanks to mostly guaranteed contracts) but Ennis in Miami is the exception. That said, his potential and showing last year could land him a spot on another roster willing to take on a bit of a project, a team that knows how to develop players.
Of course, Miami can be that kind of team, too. Ennis just needs to take advantage of the situation.