No one can say Elton Brand sat on his hands this trade deadline season. Following the huge deal centered around ex-Clippers forward Tobias Harris, and a minor move involving Malachi Richardson, the Sixers have swung another trade, acquiring 6-foor-7 wing James Ennis from Houston.
Sources: Houston is trading James Ennis to Philadelphia.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 7, 2019
The acquisition cost for Ennis appears to be very minimal.
Houston is trading James Ennis to Philadelphia in exchange for swap rights on a 2021 second-round pick, per @ShamsCharania— #RingerNBA (@ringernba) February 7, 2019
The 28-year-old Ennis fits the 3-and-D wing prototype needed for the Sixers coming off the bench. He is a career 36.2 percent 3-point shooter, knocking down 37.3 percent of his treys this season. He’s mainly a spot-up shooter offensively, which is a plus now that Philadelphia has four players who are going to want the ball in their hands a fair amount in Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, and Tobias Harris. Defensively, he works hard and has the ability to switch across multiple positions.
Ennis has a player option for next season for just under $2 million which he will likely decline to pursue a larger/longer deal in the open market. It’s interesting that the Rockets are shipping him out for such a minor return. He has made 25 starts this season and seems to ably fit their roster profile of surrounding James Harden with shooters and willing defenders. I suppose Houston’s acquisition of Iman Shumpert made Ennis expendable in the minds of the Rockets front office, and the organization is also working to shave off luxury tax dollars.
Houston is inching their way closer to getting under the luxury tax. The Rockets save $2.4M with the James Ennis trade to Philadelphia and are now $2.4M above the tax threshold. Houston started the season with a tax bill of $14.6M. Houston will create a $1.6M trade exception.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) February 7, 2019
On the whole, Ennis could very well be a useful member of the rotation, and Brand was able to acquire him for next to nothing, presumably because Houston’s ownership is worried about saving money. I call this a win! We’ll now wait to see who the Sixers cut from the current roster to make this deal official.
Update: As expected, the recently acquired Malachi Richardson will be waived to create a roster spot for Ennis. Malachi, you’ll always have your spot on the Post-Process era T-shirt.