Early last week Ridiculous Upside detailed how more and more NBA teams are employing a "draft and stash" philosophy when it comes to their second round picks (selected out of college vs. international prospects) for three essential reasons.
The process allows NBA teams to retain the draft rights, does not impact their salary cap structure bottom-line for the season and lastly, making the jump overseas means player development on an international level.
Despite these second round picks having to place their NBA dreams on hold, the system really is a win-win situation, particularly if the player actually returns with valuable overseas pro experience and is able to contribute to their respective NBA team. The players featured in that initial piece were Mike Muscala (from Atlanta to Spain) and Arsalan Kazemi (from Philadelphia to "yet to be determined").
Now we can add Miami Heat second rounder James Ennis out of Long Beach State to that equation.
On Saturday, it was announced that Ennis has signed with the Perth Wildcats of the National Basketball League in Australia. The deal does include an out clause if the Heat choose to recall Ennis to Miami.
"I can't wait to get over to Australia and join my new teammates," Ennis said in a press release on the Wildcats' website.
"Obviously I would have liked to be playing in the NBA this season, but it's a huge opportunity to develop my skills in a good competition and put on a show for the fans in Perth."
The Wildcats front office had high-hopes -- if not shot in the dark dreams -- ever since seeing Ennis perform at the Las Vegas Summer League in late July. Both Managing Director Nick Marvin and coach Trevor Gleeson. Whether Ennis was Perth's top priority or simply had a pipedream of being able to sign the 6-foot-7, 210 lbs. small forward, the reality is they can count on Ennis being in the fold -- that is if or until the Heat make that call.
"We saw this guy score 25 points in the semifinal of the NBA summer league and we thought, 'Wow, this kid can really play,' but we didn't think we'd get him to Australia," Gleeson said in an interview with Wildcats.com.au.
"But we are now super excited to have him at the Wildcats and can't wait for him to suit up for us because he is going to be a highlight reel."
Last season, Perth finished 22-6 on the season and lost to the New Zealand Breakers (2-0) in the NBL Finals.