The Los Angeles Lakers have waived Tyler Ennis before his contract guaranteed for the 2018-19 season as the team continues to try and get the most cap space possible. The team announced the move on Twitter:
OFFICIAL: Lakers waive Tyler Ennis https://t.co/oEdgz7XkIS— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) June 29, 2018
Ennis averaged 5.2 points, 2.1 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 76 games over a season and a half with the Lakers, including 13 starts. The team acquired him in a trade deadline deal with the Houston Rockets in 2017, and surprisingly brought him back as their backup point guard behind Lonzo Ball last summer despite his mediocre (at best) play during the prior campaign.
Ennis did not improve during his second season in the purple and gold, and given that the Lakers had until July 5 to waive him before his $1,656,092 million salary guaranteed for the 2018-19 season, it’s hardly surprising that the organization opted to let him go.
Given that the Lakers are chasing big fish in trades and/or free agency, this move was always expected, as there are likely better players than Ennis available for the veteran’s minimum in free agency this summer, and even possible ring-chasers looking to join on to what could be a potential superteam.
Even if the Lakers don’t have some type of loaded roster next season, they’ll still need a more dependable option behind Lonzo Ball than Ennis, especially if Ball deals with health problems again. Ennis showed himself to be hardly deserving of bench minutes in 2018, and as the end of the season showed, he was even less deserving of playing time against starters.
All that said, Ennis was a professional during his time in Los Angeles, and his lack of success wasn’t due to a lack of work. He just might not have the chops for the NBA, and there is no shame in that.
It remains unclear if or where Ennis will get his next opportunity.