The Pelicans’ rotating roster took another spin on Wednesday.
New Orleans signed forward James Ennis to a 10-day contract prior to its game Wednesday night in San Antonio, and the 6-foot-7 swingman joined the team just a few hours before tipoff.
“He’s a very athletic guy,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry told reporters in San Antonio. “He has a little bit of versatility. He can get out and run. We want to try to establish the pace that we want to play with in the future, so he can get out and run and do some things. He’s a young kid that still potentially could become a real solid player in the league.”
The Pelicans have seven players — forwards Anthony Davis, Quincy Pondexter and Alonzo Gee and guards Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon and Bryce Dejean-Jones — out for the remainder of the season with injuries.
Ennis is the third active player who joined the Pelicans on a 10-day contract, joining guard Tim Frazier, who subsequently signed with the club through the end of the season, and forward Jordan Hamilton.
The Atlanta Hawks selected Ennis out of Long Beach State with the 50th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
He’d appeared in 75 career NBA games entering Wednesday, averaging 4.4 points and 2.4 rebounds per game.
Ennis best season came in 2014-15, when he averaged five points and 2.8 rebounds in 17.6 minutes per game for Miami, appearing in 62 games.
Job to do
Following Wednesday’s game in San Antonio, the Pelicans have eight games remaining, beginning with Thursday’s home game against the Nuggets.
With so many players injured — in addition to the seven players out for the season, forward Ryan Anderson and guard Norris Cole currently are sidelined — and the team long out of the playoffs, New Orleans has little to play for.
“It’s like I told them, we have a job to do,” Gentry said. “As long as we got five guys to put out there, we’re going to play hard and compete as hard as we possibly can. If we do that and play unselfishly, then we have to take the results.”
In Monday’s win against the Grizzlies, the Spurs — currently the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs — played without Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli, who sat with nagging injuries or because coach Gregg Popovich chose to rest them.
They all were back in the lineup against the shorthanded Pelicans on Wednesday.
“He’s scared of us,:” Gentry joked. “That’s probably why. Pop’s really scared of us. He probably thought, ‘Wow, we better rest these guys up with this team coming in here.’ No. I just think Pop does it the way Pop does it, and there’s a method to his madness anyway. I don’t ever question that. You can’t question the results either.”