As widely known now, the Lakers plan to at least have one open roster spot as they enter the season. On Thursday, general manager Rob Pelinka confirmed this sentiment in a press conference.
“We do have two open roster spots, 14 and 15. Most likely 15 will be held [vacant], just with the tax implications and also holding that potentially for the buyout deadline. That’s usually a tool that a lot of contenders use. So I think there’s a likelihood there.”
One day later, the Athletic’s Jovan Buha tweeted out that the Lakers have been working out James Ennis this past week.
The current Lakers roster does not have too much true small forward depth behind LeBron James, but even if Ennis signs do not expect him to soak up most of those backup minutes. The seven-year NBA veteran ideally fits as a backend roster filler for the talented Laker roster, so we should not expect him to create too much of an impact on the floor.
Ennis is known as the prototypical three-and-D player that is always in demand in the NBA market. In 41 games for the Orlando Magic last year, he shot the three-ball at a solid clip of 43% on 2.5 attempts. Just don’t expect that to be sustainable since Ennis is a career 36% three point shooter.
Like Russell Westbrook, Ennis is also a Southern California native. He grew up in a Westview Village housing project in Ventura, and went to college at Cal State Long Beach. Prior to his NBA career, he played with the Perth Wildcats in Australia and won an NBL championship there. Since then, he has spent the past seven years on NBA rosters.