The Miami Heat may have lost a king when Lebron James bolted back home to Cleveland last week, but announced the signing of another James to their roster yesterday, inking Long Beach State alum James Ennis to a contract.
The former Big West Player of the Year, who helped lead the 49ers to two Big West Conference championships and an NCAA Tournament birth, will join a rebooted roster of a team that reached four consecutive NBA finals. The Ennis singing was part of a flurry of roster moves by Miami, including the additions of free agents Luol Deng, Udonis Haslem and the re-signing of Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.
The terms of the contract signed by the 6-foot-6 Ennis were not disclosed per team policy.
After being acquired by the Heat via a draft-night trade with the Atlanta Hawks during the 2013 NBA Draft, Ennis spent last year playing in Australia where he helped lead the Perth Wildcats to a Australian League Basketball championship by averaging 21.2 points per game and 7.2 rebounds. He finished the season third in most valuable player voting and was 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.
Ennis impressed the Heat front office during the team’s first five summer league games this year by averaging over 15 points per game and shooting nearly 50 percent from the three point line.
“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,” Heat President Pat Riley in a statement on the team’s website. “We are looking forward to the infusion of energy he will bring to our roster.”