When the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Tyler Ennis in a trade with the Houston Rockets, no one quite knew what to expect from the young guard who was suddenly on his fourth team in three years.
Ennis was just hoping for an opportunity.
“I thought I was going to be able to get out there and show what I could do,” Ennis told the media during his exit interview. “This is one of the best spots I could’ve ended up in a trade.”
Ennis averaged 7.7 points and 2.4 assists while shooting nearly 39 percent from behind the arc, production he credited to Lakers head coach Luke Walton telling him “to just go out and play” and getting upset with him when he didn’t shoot.
But while Walton gave him confidence on the floor, Ennis wasn’t overly confident he’d be back with the Lakers, although it sounded like that’s his hope.
“There is a lot that has to unfold,” Ennis said. “It’s out of my hands, but at this point it’s up to the front office and my agency to get it done.”
As for the advice Walton, Lakers President Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka gave him during his exit interview if he wanted to remain with the team, it was just to address a few of the criticisms of his game.
“Defensively I don’t think I get enough credit, but that’s something I can continue to work on,” Ennis said, adding that he wants to improve his shooting as well.
Ennis knows he still won’t be the Lakers’ first priority in free agency even if he does those things, but he’s focused on controlling what he can control going into next season.
“Come in in the best shape,” Ennis said of his goals. “Come in and attack the summer.”
All stats per NBA.com. and Basketball-Reference.com. All quotes transcribed via Periscope. Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here, or listen to our thoughts on the season below), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.