James Ennis-As recent as 3 seasons ago, Ennis would be looked at as a 3&D player on the wing and the future would be pretty cloudy. Luckily, for Ennis and others, the 3&D position has transitioned from the SF tag to the PF slot as coaches look to have more shooting on the floor. A tough dude who shot 37.2% overall from distance and 39.3% from the corners, Ennis is the new model that will be a cheap contract barring a huge season. Those numbers may seem high when thinking about Ennis, but he holds career percentages of 37.2 overall and 40% from the corners, so in actuality he’s right at his average numbers. Looking at his 79.2% career FT shooting, it’s more than likely that Ennis will maintain rather than regress. And he’s not just a good catch and shoot player, he’s a multi-position defender who can rebound (14.9% DREB) make him valuable on both ends of the floor. With a healthy Chandler Parsons, Ennis may see less time on the floor which would drive his contract comps to a level that GMs will love.
Bryn Forbes-San Antonio Spur that can shoot; that’s pretty much a dream description for anyone looking to find help at the end of the bench. The perception is that anyone that has run through the Spurs system immediately boosts their 2K ratings through osmosis. The reality is that players spend their time learning through accountability and earning their stripes. Forbes hasn’t seen much time on the court, but his skill set is coveted in the “modern NBA” as his knockdown shooting can put points on the board quickly. The lack of playing time will keep his next contract number low (think Seth Curry, Troy Daniels) but the production will outweigh whatever the cost ends up being.
Jerami Grant-The encouraging number on the offensive end is 3PT FGA, where Grant has taken 156, 146 and 116 in each of his 3 seasons, respectively. That signifies a player is learning his limits and starting to focus on what he can do to affect the game. In something one would categorize as more than a coincidence, Grants TS% has improved in each year as well…another indicator of role acceptance and execution. With the addition of Paul George to the already ball-dominant Russell Westbrook, Grant will not get a ton of looks this year, and I’d wager that most of his successful attempts come around the rim and are assisted. He did shoot 44.4% on corner 3PT attempts while playing for the Thunder last season to add in a dimension that Andre Roberson will never have. He’s the 5th option on offense who can play at a demonic pace on the defensive end so the All Stars on the team don’t have to. Throw in some transition dunks and all of a sudden you have a really good piece for a winning team. His size and athleticism will allow some roster flexibility as he can defend 2-4, just what Billy Donovan needs at that spot. And if he does slip through Sam Presti’s fingers in free agency, he hasn’t put up enough numbers to warrant 8 figures in his annual salary.
Sean Kilpatrick-Here’s a player that has earned every nickel in his NBA contracts and will do the same for whatever team he signs with next Summer. A little undersized, doesn’t have a position, not quite a good enough shooter…those are all fuel for the undrafted Kilpatrick. He’s turned himself into a solid NBA player with a great work ethic who is good for the organization. In his first full season in the NBA, Kilpatrick averaged 13.1 points on 34% 3PT shooting and an outstanding 84.3% from the FT line (eerily similar numbers to his Senior year at Cincinnati). Kilpatrick will most likely be a minimum contract guy for his career, but considering he puts up 19 points per 36 over his NBA stint, he’s someone that will squeeze out every last ounce you invest in him. Another player who has benefit from the evolution of strategy in the last few seasons, Kilpatrick is now a guard who is strong enough to defend taller and has the energy to show up every night and take on the challenge across from him. He’s someone I would bet on to outperform his perceived worth.