As teams in Germany, France and Russia pursued him with lucrative contracts, James Ennis’ agent worked with Heat management to find a club that allows the forward to leave for Miami next season with an opt-out clause: Australia’s Perth Wildcats. Now when the luxury tax becomes less stressful and injuries could impact the Heat, Ennis has a “good opportunity to get called up next season,” agent Scott Nichols told RealGM.
Ennis went 50th in June’s NBA draft to the Atlanta Hawks, and the Heat acquired him in a trade, have been enamored with his talent and let him know all along that playing overseas never was a knock on his ability. Miami has desperately tried to maintain salary flexibility while rounding out its roster.
Still, the Heat have 13 players under guaranteed contracts and made clear to Ennis that his deal in Australia gives him a strong chance to receive attention when salary space could open.
“No other overseas team would give us a complete NBA out like Perth did, on top of guaranteed salary for the whole year even if James leaves,” Nichols said by phone. “Some people might say, “Oh, they didn’t put him in a strong league,” but this situation – the team and the chance to come back to the Heat next season – was too good.”
Ennis, 23, averaged almost 13 points and five rebounds in summer league, shooting 42.9 percent from three-point range. Whether it’s next season or next summer, the Heat and Ennis are poised to reach agreement on a rookie scale deal.