Before his strong finish to the 2015-16 season with the New Orleans Pelicans, James Ennis played 10 games for the Memphis Grizzlies.
On Sunday, the free-agent forward agreed to return to Memphis on a deal that Yahoo Sports reported is for two years and $6 million. NBA contracts can’t be signed until the league’s moratorium lifts Thursday.
The 26-year-old averaged 15.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists in nine games with the Pelicans after originally joining the team on a 10-day contract. In addition to his stint with the Grizzlies, he played three games with the Miami Heat and 24 for the NBA Development League’s Iowa Energy before joining the Pelicans in March.
Ennis averaged 1.6 points and 0.7 rebounds for the Grizzlies last season. As a rookie in 2014-15, the 6-foot-7 Ennis played 62 games and averaged 5.0 points for Miami, where new Grizzlies coach David Fizdale was an assistant.
The Pelicans opted not to tender a qualifying offer to Ennis. That move would have made him a restricted free agent and would have allowed New Orleans to match any offer sheet Ennis signed with another team. But because the Pelicans didn’t hold Ennis’ “Bird rights,” they would not have been able to go over the salary cap to sign Ennis to a matching offer.
New Orleans did extend a $1.18 million qualifying offer to point guard Tim Frazier, meaning the Pelicans will have the right to match any offer sheet he signs. But the Pelicans also won’t be able to go over the salary cap to sign Frazier.