On Tuesday, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported that the Los Angeles Lakers agreed to sign free agent guard Tyler Ennis to a one year minimum contract, with the team holding an option on a second year, after veteran guard Derrick Rose agreed to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers one day earlier.
The Lakers, who had reportedly met with Rose, were able to offer Rose more money than the Cavs, but the former NBA MVP chose a role with LeBron James and the 2017 NBA finalists instead. So, the Lakers seemingly immediately pivoted to a younger player on a cheaper contract.
Ennis came to the Lakers in February via a trade with Houston and initially got off to a slow start. However, the 22-year-old found his rhythm and averaged 11.3 points and 3.6 assists in 27.7 minutes per game for the final seven games of the season. LA won five of their final six games, with the only defeat coming away to Golden State. Ennis played upwards of 20 minutes in each of those final half-dozen contests, as the Lakers finished the season on a strong note.
As Basketball Insiders salary cap expert Eric Pincus points out, the Lakers still have the ability to offer a player a $4.3 million room exception to a players, should the team fancy a free agent. Rose was a target for this exception, but the 28-year-old oft injured guard chose to sign for about half as much money in Cleveland.
With Ennis agreeing terms with the purple and gold, the Lakers' roster is officially at 13 players. Rookie Thomas Bryant has not yet signed with the team, but if the Lakers can agree terms with the second round pick, the roster would be at 14 players. The roster is full at 15 players.
Also, the Lakers have signed Alex Caruso to a two-way contract, so the team still has one two-way roster spot available, as well.