James Ennis has been traded from the Sixers to the Magic in exchange for the Lakers’ second-round pick, team sources confirmed Thursday afternoon to NBC Sports Philadelphia. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the trade.
The 29-year-old waived his no-trade clause to facilitate the deal.
Ennis’ agent, Scott Nichols of Rize Management, told NBC Sports Philadelphia that Ennis wanted to stay in Philadelphia and “loved the organization,” but that he didn’t see a role for himself with the team’s recent moves. The Sixers’ additions early Thursday morning of wings Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III boosted the team’s depth at the position.
A team source noted to NBC Sports Philadelphia that the Sixers decided to move Ennis to give him a chance at a bigger role on another team, given he would not have played much with the Sixers in the context of the trade for Burks and Robinson, and the emergence of young players like Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz and Shake Milton.
The team acquired Ennis last February from the Houston Rockets. They got him for a bargain price, only giving up the right to swap second-round picks in 2021.
Ennis won the “quiet tournament” for wing minutes off the Sixers’ bench in the second half of last season and was part of the team’s playoff rotation. He was a key piece early this year, too, after re-signing with the Sixers in free agency despite higher offers being on the table because of his desire to win a championship with the Sixers. Ennis is on a two-year, veteran minimum deal, with a player option for next season.
Head coach Brett Brown didn’t play a healthy Ennis on Jan. 13 against the Pacers, a decision he said was mostly motivated by wanting to increase Thybulle’s role. In the 10 games since, Ennis only averaged 8.8 minutes.
Ennis played a total of 67 regular-season games with the Sixers, posting 5.7 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.