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Miami Heat pick signed in Australia, but has NBA out if necessary

Aug 9, 2013, 10:30 PM EDT

Raptors Heat Basketball AP

The Miami Heat made a surprising decision when they decided to move into the second round of this year’s NBA Draft to pick up James Ennis. The player then made a surprising decision, deciding to sign in Australia with the Perth Wildcats for the upcoming season.

Ennis had offers from various teams overseas, but he decided to sign in Australia due to them allowing him an opt-out clause to join the Heat this season if the NBA team comes calling, according to Fox Sports Florida’s Chris Tomasson. That likely won’t happen this season, but it’s smart to give himself options while making six figures this season.

“I can’t wait to get over to Australia and join my new teammates,” Ennis said in a press release. “Obviously I would have liked to be playing in the NBA this season, but it’s a huge opportunity to develop my skills in a good competition and put on a show for the fans in Perth.”

The more appealing scenario for the Heat, however, likely would’ve been for Ennis to play for their new squad in the NBA Development League. Miami decided to do a hybrid agreement with the Sioux Falls Skyforce this summer, gutting its basketball staff in order to hire new coaching personnel that will be able to install their brand of basketball. With that, it likely would’ve been nice to catch Ennis up to speed as well.

It’s difficult to blame Ennis for signing a six-figure contract overseas instead of accepting a $25,500 contract to play in the D-League — especially when the Heat would hold his rights either way — but it is interesting the Heat didn’t try a bit harder to sway their second-round pick into doing just that. Because, under that scenario, they’d have been able to have their own staff make sure he develops the things they want him to work on … even if it would’ve meant that he had to spend the season in South Dakota instead of Western Australia.

  1. saint1997 - Aug 9, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    I live in Australia and I can’t for the life of me decide why he’d go to Perth instead of a place like Sydney. That’s like spurning LA for Milwaukee

    • jayat2013 - Aug 10, 2013 at 1:24 AM

      You obviously don’t live in Perth. We have the biggest stadium, the biggest fan base, the best beaches and the best weather

      • saint1997 - Sep 7, 2013 at 4:33 AM

        I don’t live in Perth and thank the Lord above for that. Have fun on the bad side of the country mate!

    • fletcher6 - Aug 10, 2013 at 4:24 AM

      Because Adelaide made the grand final last year and sydney are crap

      • saint1997 - Sep 7, 2013 at 4:34 AM

        Yeah but Adelaide is full of churches and Sydney has vaguely interesting things about it

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 10, 2013 at 3:14 PM

      I’ve been to Perth. It’s a nice city. Not to mention the Wildcats are a consistently good team that made the Grand Final last year and the Kings have yet to make the playoffs since returning to the league.

      • saint1997 - Sep 7, 2013 at 4:35 AM

        Yehhhhh but Sydney is a nice city and Perth is a hole

    • jasecorn2 - Aug 11, 2013 at 2:51 AM

      Having been to both cities, I couldn’t disagree more. I’d choose Perth over Sydney any day. Better lifestyle, much better weather, and a smart basketball city that actually gives a damn about their team.
      Perth plays in a world class stadium that seats up to 15,000, and have average crowds of nearly 12,000 per game.
      Considering Sydney has 4 times the population and can barely manage to attract 4000 to a game, it wouldn’t even be on my basketball radar.

      Let’s also not forget that Perth have made the finals for an unprecedented 25 years in a row, and been involved in 3 of the last 4 grand final series.
      What was the last thing that Sydney managed to do that was worth noting in the Australian basketball circles?

      I’ll give you 10 seconds to write an answer. It shouldn’t take longer than that.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 11, 2013 at 12:34 PM


  2. saint1997 - Aug 9, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    Also is this writer perhaps related to Dennis? I hope so

  3. jars323 - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    If you lived in Australia like I do also he made the right choice! As Sydney haven’t win a championship in who knows how long and the Perth Wildcats have never ever in their history have missed a finals series. I think Sydney are more like the bucks and the wildcats I would compare to the spurs!!

  4. jars323 - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    Saint1997 you have no idea!!

  5. rodge1 - Aug 10, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    Living in Australia with beautiful blondes is better than South Dakota with beautiful rocks… Sounds like an easy decision.

  6. 1972wasalongtimeago - Aug 10, 2013 at 5:32 AM

    I cannot muster an emotion, good or bad, over this story.

    • lacolem1 - Aug 10, 2013 at 8:01 AM

      Thank goodness you found the time to express your apathy in a post.

      • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 10, 2013 at 11:34 AM

        I know, right! I would have commented too but I couldn’t figure out how I really felt about it.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 11, 2013 at 12:33 PM

      Try ketchup.

  7. jimeejohnson - Aug 11, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    Probably wanted to be on a team whose city faces west, unlike Miami.

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