King James Ennis.
James “The Wildcat” Ennis.
The Prince of Perth (credit Joseph Goodman with this one)
Those are some nickname ideas for James Ennis, who is going to need one now that he officially signed with the Miami Heat Tuesday, per the team.
“We were excited to draft James a year ago and have been impressed by the growth of his game in Summer League and Puerto Rico, as well as his terrific experience in Australia, leading Perth to a championship,” said Heat President Pat Riley in statement. “We are looking forward to the infusion of energy he will bring to our roster.”
Ennis, who was selected No. 50 overall by the Atlanta Hawks, was acquired by the Heat in a draft night trade during the 2013 NBA Draft.
He spent last season playing overseas for the Perth Wildcats in Australia. In 33 games he averaged 21.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.42 steals and 31.7 minutes while shooting 46.6 percent from the field, 35.5 percent from three-point range and 77 percent from the foul line.
He helped the team win the 2014 Australian Basketball League Championship and capped the season finishing third in MVP voting while being named Australiabasket.com’s All-Australian NBL Player of the Year, Forward of the Year, Import Player of the Year, First Team and All-Imports Team. (Love the use of ‘important’ in Australia)
You can check out his highlights here.
This summer, Ennis has appeared in six Summer League games with the Heat and averaged 15.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.33 steals while shooting 51.7 percent from the field, 48.1 percent from three-point range and 80 percent from the foul line.
Ennis will be a depth swingman who will add athleticism and energy to Miami’s bench. His shot might not yet be NBA ready, but Ennis can get to the basket and shows promise of being an active wing defender who can close out on shooters in a hurry.
Ennis’ deal is likely a three-year deal, with the first year being guaranteed. Shabazz Napier is the last remaining Heat player to not be signed. Miami can use the exception for drafted rookies to sign Napier.