Lakers Linked to Vet Forward, CA Native for Last Roster Spot, per Insider

james ennis

Getty NBA free agent forward James Ennis.

The Los Angeles Lakers have yet to officially sign DeAndre Jordan yet but once he’s locked in, the team will have one more roster spot left. With center and backup point guard set, the team could now be in the market for a wing. One player who has been linked to the Lakers is James Ennis.

The veteran forward has been sitting in free agency after starting 37 games for the Orlando Magic last season. He recently was seen liking tweets telling him to join the Lakers. The Ventura, California native grew up less than a couple of hours away from Staples Center and appears to have an interest in coming home. According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the feeling could be mutual.

“James Ennis has drawn interest from the Blazers as well as the Bulls, Lakers, and Magic, I’m told,” Scotto wrote.

At 31-years-old, Ennis doesn’t make the Lakers much younger but he’s a veteran who would likely accept a lesser role to play with his hometown team.

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Is Ennis a Fit With the Lakers?

Ennis wouldn’t be a huge needle mover for the Lakers but could be an intriguing pickup. He hit 43.3% of his 3-point shots last season. However, his career average is only 36.0% so that could be an anomaly.

Ennis isn’t a great defender but he does provide some length and athleticism on that side of the court. The Lakers would only really need him in a pinch as he’ll be playing behind LeBron James and Trevor Ariza. This late in free agency, the team isn’t going to find superstars. Ennis could be a solid role player who is capable of getting hot from three. The Lakers already brought in one hometown player in Russell Westbrook. Why not throw Ennis in the mix?

Lakers Will Have to Work for Championship, Says Coach

The Lakers roster is littered with current and former All-Stars. Based on the big names the team has accumulated, they should run away with a championship. However, just because they have big names doesn’t mean they’ve won anything yet. The Lakers are old and the way the roster fits together is questionable. Assistant coach Phil Handy believes the team still has work to do despite all the talent.

“Paper doesn’t win championships for us,” Handy said on Sirius XM NBA Radio recently. “Those names that are on that paper, are some phenomenal names. … We gotta do our work and make sure we gel. Do we fit? These guys, they gotta figure out ways to play with each other and sacrifice, and let their names take over. You know, you look at that piece of paper and say, Lakers are loaded, automatic championship. Nah man, we got a lot of work to do in terms of just gelling, finding our rhythm and being able to be cohesive as a unit.”

With Anthony Davis, LeBron and Westbrook leading the team, the Lakers should win a lot of games but we’ve seen talented teams fail in the past. In fact, LeBron has been part of some of those teams. Los Angeles needs to figure out how they’re going to make all the new pieces fit in before they can realistically compete for a championship.

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