The Pelicans liked what they found.
New Orleans forward James Ennis, whose 10-day contract expires on Friday, will be signed for the remainder of the season, per league sources.
He joins a growing list of Pelicans players who were initially added on 10-day contracts but found longer-term homes in New Orleans, including Bryce DeJean-Jones, Tim Frazier and Jordan Hamilton.
Ennis was added just hours before the Pelicans’ 100-92 loss at San Antonio on March 30 and has been a vital member of the team’s rotation ever since. On a roster missing nine players due to injury, the addition of talent from the NBA Developmental League has provided a necessary salve to the dwindling roster.
And Ennis did more than enough to earn a spot for the final four games of the season.
In five games he shot 50 percent from 3-point range, helping him average 12.4 points while pulling down 3.8 rebounds. Coach Alvin Gentry often complimented his energy on both ends of the floor, thanks to his near constant motion and ability to run in transition.
“He’s shooting the ball well and is real confident,” Pelicans’ point guard Toney Douglas said last week. “He’s slashing to the basket, rebounding, finishing, playing good defense. It’s going to take him some time to learn our defensive schemes, but when you go out there and play hard, sometimes it makes up for it. He’s a guy out there playing hungry.”
Ennis’ future with the franchise is still unclear, since this contract does not run beyond the season finale on April 15.
“I think he’s come in and done a really good job of playing in the flow and making some shots for us,” Gentry said. “He’s been good defensively, also.”