Draft Profiles: Tyler Ennis, 6’3, PG, Syracuse, 180 lbs., Freshman

Draft Profiles: Tyler Ennis, 6’3, PG, Syracuse, 180 lbs., Freshman

Athletic Ability

Athletically, Ennis is about average, just like the rest of his game. While not great, he possesses solid athleticism across the board in terms of lateral quickness, jumping ability, and front-line speed.

Size

While somewhat thin, Ennis has good height for a point guard at 6’3 to go along with a nice wing-span of over 6’7.  His frame should support more more weight as he gets onto an NBA weight lifting regimen as well.

Basketball IQ

Ennis greatest strength for the next level is his extremely high basketball IQ as he is one of the smartest basketball players in the draft.  He is one of the best pure point guard prospects to come along in a few years with his ability to set-up teammates, see a play unfolding, and setting up the hockey style assist.

Skill

Skill-wise, Ennis is best known as a floor leader in the little things that he does well.  His best skill is passing the ball efficiently as evidenced by nearly six assists a game with less than two turnovers.  He is able to get to the rack off pick-and-rolls and finish with floaters or mid-range jumpers.

Occasionally, Ennis will flash a nice crossover to get open to mid-range as well.  While not the best 3 point shooter, he is an average shooter that should continue to improve along with hard work, however, he did take and make big crunch time shots.

Defensively it is hard to judge Ennis based on his role in the patented Syracuse zone that doesn't emphasize a lot of individual man defense.  However, he shows a good basketball understanding and has good anticipation skills as evidenced by over two steals per game.  I project Ennis to be an above average defender due to a good understanding of the game, good size, decent athleticism, and hard work.

While Ennis is a solid player, he has some major concerns.  Ennis does not possess great foot speed nor does he have a great first step.  As a primary ball-handler, will he be able to create for others regularly when not playing in the pick-and-roll? 

While Ennis can get into the lane at times, he struggles to finish despite having a floater.  He needs to master a shot in the mid-range to rim area in order to take advantage of the penetration he does get.

While I project him to become a decent defender, he'll have a large adjustment from playing full time zone to playing mostly man defense in the NBA.  How long will it take Ennis to become a consistent man-to-man defender with just average athleticism?

Overall

Overall, Ennis possesses many characteristics of being a solid overall point guard.  For some teams, I can see Ennis being an above average point guard starter.  For other teams that need more playmaking, Ennis may just be a backup point guard.  To me it depends on how a roster is designed. 

At this point, Ennis could go anywhere from late lottery to early 20’s. I would say he is one of the safest picks in this draft in terms of high floor, but with that high floor comes a relatively low ceiling as well.

How does he fit with the Bulls?

While the Bulls need youth at the point guard and mainly someone that is healthy, I would rather take someone that might make way more of an impact at a particular skill.  Ennis might be a coach’s dream and particular Thibs because he will limit mistakes while running a team.  

However, the Bulls desperately lack athleticism, shooting, and playmaking.  I would rather have Ennis over a project player for this team, but would rather have players such as Kyle Anderson, Rodney Hood, Gary Harris, Jarnell Stokes, Adreian Payne due to adding a more meaningful skill to the team.

Comments

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  • Thanks Kevin. Wow, Ennis has dropped to 25 on NBADraft.net's latest mock. If I'm drafting a combo/PG I at least want someone who is an exceptional shooter or has exceptional to elite athleticism. Ennis has neither. He has potential, and could end up being a good player, but with limited speed and unproven shooting I'll have to pass. Shot 43% two point percentage by the way. Not good.

  • Side note: Rodney Hood has vaulted up No. 8 on NBADraft's new mock. Of course that could change, but the closer we get to the draft, while exact position remains fluid, at some point neighborhood becomes more finite. He could drop again, but I doubt Hood's going back down to 15ish i.e the Bull's neighborhood. So either a trade up is going to have to happen or we can eliminate Harris, Stauskas, and Hood as the best possible SG/wing players available outside the top 5.

    I'm not surprised by Hood's re-ascension because in the end shooting matters. The guy shot over 42% on nearly five threes attempted per game. So again either Gar/Pax do the unexpected and make a bold move trading up or you have Payne, Early, Anderson etc.

    Another thought: while securing a pick/trade for somebody is not the sexy move, you could convert No. 16 or 19 into say 25 and 30. If you can get C.J. Wilcox and a Jordan Adams out of that you might have doubled your chances of hitting on a good shooting rotation SG. Say you've done this with 19 and you still have an Adreian Payne or Early at 16? Not a bad haul in a IMO genuinely deep talent draft.

    Final thought: what's with all the suddenly expanding wingspans? Adreian Payne is now according to the draft combine a 7'4" and T.J. Warren is 6'10.75". If Warren can somehow match up and play the PF spot then he could be a big time scorer in the NBA. Interesting food for thought anyway IMO.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Not surprised that Hood has surged ahead of Stauskas and Harris in the mocks. He is clearly the better all-around player IMHO. The silver lining is that McDermott has dropped significantly in that mock which means the Bulls would have a shot at him, as well as Stauskas and Harris, if they traded up for him.

    Clearly, that site (Aran Smith) has been getting feedback from workouts. However, it has been very hard for me as a basic media consumer to find information regarding how players are doing in workouts. Perhaps some of the premium sites (e.g. ESPN Insider) have this information.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    For what it is worth, I saw a mock yesterday that had Hood & Payne in the 20's, so who really knows. Like they always say it only takes one team to fall in love with a player.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I like Wilcox - not as high on Warren for our team!!!! Sorry for late responses everyone - been on the road!

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    While I can see Warren ending up as a Bulls pick by default, he is a small forward plain and simple. 6'7" at best and less than 6'11" wingspan do not a power forward make. He is shorter and has less length than Taj who is already an undersized power forward.

    If we ended up with him at 19 I guess that it would be better than Snell at 20. At least this guy was a legitimate scorer at a power program in a power conference. Hopefully, his abilities as a natural born scorer will translate to the NBA. Warren or Porzingas and Wilcox or Payton are my hopes for a worst case(i.e. everybody we really want is off the board) scenario for the Bulls.

  • I know a lot of people are saying that the Bulls will draft a pg. I think that NBADraft.net and DraftExpress both have them drafting a pg. I just don't see it. In my opinion, the Bulls would be better off going with DJ and Hinrich for another year than drafting someone at PG that may be a reserve at best. It is hard for me imagine Ennis, Napier, Payton, or anyone outside of Smart, Exum, or LaVine (if you even see him as a PG) to be a starting point in the league.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    You're right about any of them starting in the case of another Rose breakdown. The Bulls should take the proverbial best player available at 16 & 19 regardless of position, and hopefully not knee jerk it like they did with the Teague selection. Unfortunately, Ennis is one of the guys likely to be left over by the time we pick, whereas most of the other guys we covet are not.

    After the top 8, who are the next 7 guys, to me they appear to be Saric, McDermott, Stauskis, Harris, as the next 4, then LaVine, Hood and Payne. Leaving the Bulls to rummage through the remaining scraps, Warren, Payton, Wilcox, that 7ft stringbean from one of the Baltic states, P squared something(Porkchop Porzingus)

    Also, there was a report from Chad Ford that might have come from a local comcast station that the Bulls are targeting a move up to Denver's 11th pick to go after Stuaskis or Harris. Even if true, that likely wouldn't happen until draft day, if the player that the Bulls want is available at that pick.

  • Teague was supposed to be in the teens and he went to the Bulls at the end of the 1st. He was definitely the best player available by all accounts at the time.

    Also, filled a need, although he ended up not being good enough to take advantage of that need.

    Ennis is not all that exciting. His best quality is that he is steady - does not turn the ball over and has great poise. But, John Stockton was probably along those lines, too, so who knows...

    I actually think that Cleanthony Early has more upside than some of the guys that are mocking earlier... like Stauskas, Harris, etc... He's a good enough shooter already, although not great. He can improve in that department. He has the NBA size and length and projects to be a solid 2-way player. I love Stauskas, but I'm not sold on moving up for him if you can grab Early and Payne with our picks. Early and Payne are good enough shooters and fill a need. And, they should be two way players.

  • In reply to Granby:

    Early and Payne could make the rotation in year 1, possibly, given their age and experience. Kind of like Taj.

  • In reply to Granby:

    I am ok with Bulls trading up get Hood, Stauskas or McDermott. But I also feel ok just taking Early and Payne with the current picks. I actually was thinking about this scenario this morning. You beat me to it.

    Early could be a major sleeper. Another guy I really like is McDaniels eventhough his shot is suspect. Love guys who can block shots, rebound and play tough defense at the small forward position.

  • In reply to Granby:

    Teague is a low basketball IQ player. Ennis is the opposite but would at least be a serviceable player!

  • Did anyone see the recent 1984 draft? What was most interesting was the Carlise statement that the 2011 Mavs were most successful not running plays and using a basic motion offense with quick passes and lots of cuts. Like the 1986 Celtics.

    Also, like the Spurs. I think the Spurs are at their best when they are not running plays and the ball is popping around. Miami looks hopeless trying to defend this offense when they are clicking - even if they are not shooting 78% or whatever!

    My point is that I hope Thibs and GarPax could learn from this and be less systematic and more spontaneous offensively - with the right pieces. I think any team with enough shooting and good interior passing could run the Spur offense, to some extent. (Noah actually played an abridged version of this playing the high post passing role this season...) It's probably the hardest to defend because it's not predictable and the defense cannot rest.

    To implement this, just draft shooting wings with ball handling skills. Rely less on individual defense and focus on team defense.

    Even with no Melo or Love, consider Rose, Butler, Snell, Mirotic Dunleavy, another FA if Boozer is amnestied, and two rookies like Early and Payne to surround Noah and Gibson and there you go.

  • In reply to Granby:

    And, play with pace. The Spurs hurry the ball up the floor after made and missed baskets. How many times has Rose casually walked or jogged up the floor over the years? If you have a bench, push it!

  • Yesterday was Arron Afflalo day, but I came across this piece on Shaun Livingston today.

    http://thebrooklyngame.com/5-potential-landing-spots-shaun-livingston/

    As a Bulls fan, would you rather have Afflalo or Livingston?

    The Bulls were mentioned in the article as a possible destination, along with Miami, the Clips and even SA. To get him away from Brooklyn it is assumed that you would have to offer him more than the MMLE which is all that the Nets have. So the Bulls would have to use some or all of their MLE or amnestitize the Hole and use cap space.

    Just like Afflalo this isn't a move that they could make until after all options are exhausted with Melo and Love. Livingston would be cheaper than Afflalo and as a free agent wouldn't cost us any other assets. The biggest question with him, is he free and clear of his injuries. I could definitely see Miami making a move for him early in free agency, thus eliminating him from Bulls consideration after Melo and Love play out. Not a great shooter but has excellent size to play next to Rose and he has point guard skills to take some of the playmaking/ballhandling pressure off of Rose.

    I've liked the guy for the Bulls for a number of years, but they have never seemed to have any interest. Wonder if they do this time around.

  • Chad Ford's latest mock (7.0) for Espn has Elfrid Payton going at #12. He was my hope for the Bulls at 19.

  • Kevin, would love to see a report on Jordan McRae as a possible 2nd rounder for the Bulls, thanks

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