MIAMI – As these NBA Finals elevate urgency for an infuse of youthful talent, the Miami Heat are extremely pleased with the development of their 2013 draft acquisition – forward James Ennis – and there's an increasingly strong likelihood the franchise will sign him, multiple league sources told RealGM.
After an MVP-caliber season in Australia's National Basketball League, Ennis spent the past week working out for the Heat front office in Miami. Ennis, 23, will headline the Heat's Summer League rosters in Orlando and Las Vegas.
The Heat acquired Ennis from the Atlanta Hawks, who selected him with the No. 50 pick. The potential signing of Ennis would likely be a multi-year deal, sources said.
Despite an impressive summer league from Ennis last July, the Heat decided to fill the bench with veteran players and worked closely with Ennis to place him in a viable overseas league. Ennis compiled a title and earned first-team honors with Perth of the NBL, where Miami's management closely monitored the 6-foot-7 forward. He averaged 21.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, two assists and 46.6 percent shooting from the field in the Australian league, and he then scored 16.6 points and grabbed 8.3 rebounds per game in 12 appearances for a Puerto Rican club.
Ennis completed his collegiate career at Long Beach State and solidified himself as an NBA prospect during a progressive senior season.
The Heat trail 3-1 in the Finals, lacking fresh depth on the bench in the closing stretch of a fourth straight championship appearance.