Trevor Ariza, gone.
Luc Mbah a Moute, gone.
Carmelo Anthony, despite all of the positive reports that he’ll be heading to Houston, has yet to officially don a Rockets uniform. And even if he does, and returns to the scoring machine of old, the Rockets are still in dire need of some additional defensive help on the wing.
Well, USA Today’s Rockets beat writer Kelly Iko is reporting that Houston has made an official offer to former Memphis Grizzly and Detroit Piston James Ennis.
According to Iko, the Rockets have offered Ennis the veteran’s minimum salary, and that’s currently the only holdup in getting him to H-town. Ennis is reportedly seeking a larger deal than that at the moment.
Iko is also reporting that the Rockets have officially moved on from their courtship of James Nunnally, so at least for the time being, it appears that it’s Ennis or bust if the team is to improve it’s defense via free agency.
Ennis is 6’7’ and has the size and length to bother the opposition on the wing, and he has the athleticism and wingspan (7’0”) to to excel in the Rockets’ switching defensive scheme.
His defensive numbers aren’t eye-popping, as he averages just a half of a steal per game and has an even 0.0 cumulative defensive plus-minus for his career, but at 28 years old, he’s in his athletic prime and would have a chance to blossom in Houston’s system.
He’s also a career 36 percent shooter from beyond the arc, meaning he’s more than capable of knocking down the open jumpers that would certainly come his way from Chris Paul and James Harden.
The final step is closing the deal, as the Rockets are quickly running out of options for defense on the open market and could be forced to look at trade options should a deal for Ennis fall through.
According to both Iko and the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen, a decision from Ennis is expected any day now.