Philadelphia 76ers: Acquisition of James Ennis is a sneaky good move

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Thursday afternoon, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweeted that the Philadelphia 76ers traded for James Ennis. Here’s why it’s a sneaky good move.

The Philadelphia 76ers have some huge financial decisions to make, with Tobias Harris, J.J. Redick, and Boban Marjanovic slated to be free agents next season. Additionally, swingman Jimmy Butler’s 2019-20 contract is a player option.

If the Sixers want to enjoy the fruits that their process grew, Philly needs to allocate their funds in order to please all-star and superstar talents.

Thus, blowing money on your second-unit is frowned upon. Even though the Sixers bench is rail-thin (as I discussed in my last piece), in no way should Philly break the bank for a rotational player.

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Ennis makes sense financially. Ennis is owed $1.62 million this year, and his $1.845 million for the 2019-20 is a player option. Even if the 28-year-old Ennis decides to stay in Philly (I personally don’t see why he wouldn’t), the Sixers cap would be virtually unaffected by him.

Long gone are the days where the Sixers take on large contracts for extra pick stashes. Instead, the win-now Sixers must allocate their fund for their bench intelligently (yet frugally) in order to prepare for one of the biggest off-seasons in recent Sixers memory.

If Ennis can step in and provide solid backup minutes at the three spot, the Sixers won this trade big time.

As mentioned, Ennis is now a part of his sixth different organization while playing in his mere fifth season. Undoubtedly, shifting from city-to-city to start your career as a professional in any field of work must carry some type of stress.

For example, in 2015-16, Ennis played in 22 games total for three different teams which is as shocking as it gets. Ennis, therefore, has played alongside more players in his short NBA career than the common NBA player mid-way through their fifth season.

This fact alone should ease any type of worry that Ennis couldn’t form any type of rapport with the newly-acquired, makeshift Sixers bench. He looks to be the perfect candidate for this situation.

In addition, Ennis appears ready to adapt to any type of role due to his minutes this season. Despite averaging just over 23 minutes per game, Ennis still has played nine games over 30 minutes and 11 games under 20 minutes this season.

Although some of his shortened playing time could be attributed to injury, it’s nonetheless noteworthy to mention Ennis’ wide range in minutes logged per game this season.

Ennis can bring 7.5 points and a hair under three assists a game to the Sixers bench. This season, Ennis connects on slightly under half of his shots from the field.

Also, according to his shooting chart from Basketball reference, Ennis is extremely efficient in his scoring.

Ennis is shooting 65.9 percent on two-point field goals this season. Part of the reason this percentage is so high is that (according to the chart) Ennis attempted shots between 10-feet and the three-point line less than .5 percent of the time this season. Shockingly, over 82 percent of Ennis’ two-point shots this season have come from within three feet.

However, the Sixers second unit won’t thrive off only layups. Luckily, Ennis attempts 56.9 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. The forward also rings true on over 36 percent of his threes, which is above the league average.

In short, when Ennis isn’t cashing in three-point shots, the California native is as efficient as can be inside the paint.

Next. The ‘Magical’ Markelle Fultz-saga is finally over. dark

Sounds like the perfect recipe for a bench thirsting for a scoring punch.