Updated: 6:54 p.m.
The Sixers are bringing back one of their most important bench players from last season.
James Ennis has agreed to a two-year, $4.1 million contract with the Sixers, his agent, Scott Nichols, confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. Ennis will have a player option for the second year of the deal. If he does not pick up his player option, the Sixers will have his Early Bird Rights. The two-year, $4.1 million contract is a veteran minimum deal, according to a source. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium first reported the agreement.
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"This is all about James wanting to win a championship with the Sixers," Nichols told NBC Sports Philadelphia. He said Ennis had higher offers on the table.
The 29-year-old Ennis, acquired from the Houston Rockets in February, declined his $1.85 million player option in May to become an unrestricted free agent. Ennis, at the time, was seeking a more lucrative, multi-year deal.
The Sixers are Ennis’ sixth NBA team. He played for three colleges and professionally in Australia and Puerto Rico before reaching the NBA.
Head coach Brett Brown described Ennis as having “an old man’s YMCA game,” an apt way to capture Ennis’ deceptive athleticism and craftiness. Ennis enjoyed being a “go guy” on the Sixers, and swooping in for offensive rebounds quickly became one of his trademarks in Philadelphia.
He developed strong relationships on the team last season and has formed an especially close friendship with Ben Simmons. Simmons even convinced Ennis to get a Cane Corso dog, the same breed of dog Simmons owns.
Ennis said at his exit interview on May 13 that he believes Simmons and Joel Embiid, “have a huge upside still because they’re still young. I can’t wait to see them in a couple years because they’re going to be phenomenal players — top-five players.”
Though the end of Ennis’ regular season was disrupted by a right quad contusion, he had an impactful playoffs for the Sixers, averaging 7.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. The Sixers will hope he can improve his three-point shooting to at or near his career mark of 35.7 percent.
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