Veteran Free Agent Calls Out Lakers Amid Blowout

Getty Images Free agent guard James Ennis III.

After watching the Los Angeles Lakers get blown out by the Phoenix Suns 123-94 on Sunday night in a preseason tilt, James Ennis feels he can help.

Ennis took to Twitter during the game to send a message to the Lakers, who he has worked out recently.

“I play defense sign me already lol,” Ennis tweeted.

It’s not the first time Ennis has hinted on social media that he’d like to wear purple and gold. He liked some tweets petitioning the Lakers to sign him earlier this summer and has been a consistent commenter on LA’s Instagram posts.

Ennis averaged 8.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 24 minutes per game last season with the Orlando Magic. He also improved as a shooter last year, 43.3% from range.

As a defender, Ennis could be a versatile and needed addition with Trevor Ariza’s future uncertain due to injury. Ennis has a 6-foot-11 wingspan and can even play power forward in small-ball lineups.

The Lakers have one roster spot available but it’s been reported that the team is looking to keep it open in case an opportunity arises.

Trevor Ariza Will Miss Start of Lakers’ Season

The new part of the equation when it comes to Ennis is the fact that Ariza is dealing with an ankle injury that will keep him out the next two months. And as Ennis pointed out in his tweet, the Lakers’ defense has been less than stellar in the preseason, averaging more than 120 points per game in the four contests.

Ariza was anticipated to play a key part of the rotation as a rangy, perimeter defender. He played in 30 games last season with the Heat — 27 of those starts — averaging 9.4 points and 4.8 rebounds.

It’s unknown if Ariza would have wrangled a starting role with the Lakers, but like many others on the team, the veteran was focused simply on winning.

“When you’re trying to win a championship, the only thing that matters is the success of the team,” Ariza said after signing with LA. “The idea is for everybody to make each other better every day, and to cheer for your teammates’ success.”

Lakers Offense Not Clicking Either

The offense has also been concerning for the Lakers, which was partly expected with so many new faces. Lakers star LeBron James has played in just one of the four games but said a new system on offense is something the team is still growing into.

“We pretty much have got a whole new offensive system this year that we’ve been working through over our practices since training camp started,” James told reporters. “It’s an adjustment for us offensively, just having guys in different positions, having guys in different places on the floor with our new look and what we’re trying to do.”

Turnovers have also been an issue, with the Lakers averaging more than 20 per game. New star guard Russell Westbrook took the blame for that, although he’s not too worried.

“The turnover stuff is on me, but good thing they don’t count,” Westbrook told reporters after losing to the Suns. “Turnover it over 15 times. Ain’t nothing nobody can do about it. It’s all good. It’s on me, though.”

The Lakers three stars — Westbrook, James and Anthony Davis — are expected to play together for the first time against the Warriors on Tuesday.

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