If Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are the grandfatherly wise men of the Miami Heat, James Ennis is the teenager of the group.
Ennis was the Heat’s only draft pick in 2013 and spent the past year playing in Australia as part of the Heat’s development program. The 6-7 small forward makes his debut Saturday in Miami’s non-televised preseason game against New Orleans in Louisville, Kentucky.
Coach Erik Spoelstra said the days leading up to the game in Louisville, the Heat’s first of eight preseason games, were important for the team to get to know each other and start building an identity.
The lanky Ennis brings energy, a good shot and athleticism to the court.
“He brings energy,” Spoelstra said. “He brings a disposition on both ends that I like. He makes you watch him, whether he’s doing the right thing or not, he’s active. Defensively, he tends to be around the ball quite often, loose balls, rebounds, deflections, that type of thing, and offensively, he plays with a youthful exuberance of somebody his age.”
The 24-year-old averaged 15.5 points and 5 rebounds and shot 51.7 percent from the field in his six starts with the Heat’s summer league this year.
He also made some impressive plays when matched up against veteran Luol Deng in the Heat’s intrasquad scrimmage Wednesday night.
So though he’s green, no one on the team doubts his potential.
But the Heat has been practicing hard and fast, and Ennis, despite a season abroad and two stints in summer league, has a lot of adjusting to do.
“Right now we’re just mainly focused on slowing down, that’s what the guys keep telling me,” Ennis said. “Just to slow down, pick my moments and let the game come to me.”
Center Josh Hamilton (heart), forward Josh McRoberts (toe) and forward-center Chris Andersen (calf and foot) will sit out against the Pelicans.
Spoelstra is sitting Andersen as a precautionary measure.
“He’s able to do virtually everything,” Spoelstra said, “but I want to make sure that he feels great.”
Hamilton underwent a procedure called cardiac ablation earlier this week to fix a heart flutter that was detected in the days leading up to the Heat’s training camp.
The 7-foot center felt exhausted and fainted a couple of times before recording a “weird reading” on a heart monitor the Heat uses.
Nothing in particular triggered the abnormal heart rhythm, and Hamilton doesn’t expect to require any further treatment.
“Once I had the procedure, it’s fixed,” he said.
Hamilton is taking blood-thinning medication and is expected to return to noncontact in a couple of days and be cleared to play in games in two to three weeks.
As the Heat starts rebuilding, LeBron James is focused on selling.
After leaving the Heat for his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers this summer, the forward has listed his 16,678 square-foot estate in Coconut Grove for $17 million.
James bought the six-bedroom, 8 1/2-bathroom home on the waterfront in 2010, his first season with the Heat, for $9 million.
The home features a custom theater, wine cellar, outdoor kitchen and infinity pool, among other amenities.
Tomi Rose, senior vice president for sports and entertainment at Opulence International Realty, handled the listing.
Rose also listed Heat point guard Mario Chalmers’ condo unit on Biscayne Boulevard earlier this month.