Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

James Ennis -- The Miami Heat's Draft Pick

The Miami Heat started the 2013-2014 with no draft picks.

They finished the draft with James Ennis, a shooting guard/small forward from Long Beach State, who was selected with the 50th pick in the draft.

Here’s a look at Ennis’ numbers from his time at Long Beach State.

And here’s a video piece that SLAM magazine did on James Ennis recently:

So what did the Heat have to give up for Ennis?

The 50th pick was originally the Atlanta Hawks’.  They traded Ennis to the Miami Heat for a future second-round pick.

What’s Ennis’ upside?

He’s extremely athletic.  Just watch his highlights at Long Beach State University (LBSU) from this past year.

Chet Kammerer, who’s Vice President of Player Personnel with the Miami Heat had this to say about James Ennis:

“When you watch him play, the thing that attracts you to him is his versatility. He’s not just a one-dimensional player.

“From a skills standpoint, we think that he can become a very good shooter. We like the fact that when he gets to the free-throw line, he was an 80-percent shooter. He also averaged more than two steals and a block and a half per game, so he’s doing a lot of things to help his team win.”

Physically, Ennis caught the Miami Heat’s eyes as a 6-7 shooting guard/small forward with a 7-foot wingspan.

“That’s a big advantage,” Kammerer said. “When we talk about length, that’s what we talking about. The physical build is attractive to us.”

Positionally, the Heat view Ennis as a young wing player who can absorb some minutes from the aging legs and bodies of Ray Allen, Shane Battier, and Mike Miller (if he stays).  Additionally, while Ennis already has the physical tools of an NBA player, working with players like Ray Allen, Battier, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh is only going to help Ennis develop his skills.

What’s Ennis’ Downside?

There are some serious doubts about Ennis’ ability to shoot the basketball.  He shot 35.7% from three-point range during his senior year in college, and he shot 35.0% the year before.  His lack of inability to improve his three-point shooting between his junior and senior year is a little troubling, especially considering that his three-point field goal percentage was mediocre to begin with.

Add in the fact that he’ll be shooting three-pointers from farther away in the NBA, and you can expect defenders to sag off of Ennis (or even bait him to shoot), taking away from his ability to drive and finish.

If he’s able to work on his shooting during the summer (especially his long-distance shooting) then Ennis has the potential to be a solid bench contributor — if he can’t improve as a shooter, Ennis might just be another warm body and six fouls.

 

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