Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida
By CHRIS TOMASSON  |  Last updated 8/9/13
MIAMI -- James Ennis is heading Down Under. But the Miami Heat will retain his rights. Ennis' agent, Scott Nichols, confirmed Friday night to FOX Sports Florida that Ennis has signed with the Perth Wildcats of Australia's National Basketball League. The swingman was traded to the Heat on draft night last June after being the No. 50 pick in the second round by Atlanta. Nichols had told FOX Sports Florida last Monday he expected Ennis to head overseas, He said at the time Ennis was considering teams in Australia, Russia, France, Italy and Germany. "He's got a full NBA opt-out," Nichols said of the deal in Australia, which would allow Ennis to return to the NBA during the season if the Heat wanted him. For now, though, Ennis is excited. I cant wait to get over to Australia and join my new teammates, Ennis was quoted as saying on the Wildcats website. Obviously, I would have liked to be playing in the NBA this season, but its a huge opportunity to develop my skills in a good competition and put on a show for the fans in Perth. Nichols said the move is best for all parties since the Heat have a very full roster and are having issues as a more punitive luxury tax enters the NBA next season. But Nichols has said he expects Ennis to make the Heat roster in 2014-15. "I think he'll definitely be playing for the Heat (in 2014-15)," Nichols said. "They like him and they have a lot of wings who will be free agents next summer: Shane Battier, Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis, James Jones." The 6-foot-7 Ennis averaged 14.3 points for Miami in four Orlando Summer League games. Then he averaged 12.7 points in seven games at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, including scoring 25 in the finale against Phoenix. The Heat like Ennis' athleticism, his 3-point shooting and that he can play multiple positions. There should be room on the roster for him in 2014-15 at a minimum salary when the Heat likely will be watching costs even more as the luxury tax then gets even more punitive. The Heat currently have 13 players on the roster with guaranteed contracts and center Jarvis Varnado has a non-guaranteed deal. It's out of the question that the Heat, trying to save money, could carry just 13 players next season. Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com or on Twitter @christomasson.
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