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Heat & James Ennis amend contract and guarantee date

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The Heat and James Ennis have amended his contract to push back his guarantee date to the beginning of the season.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Pat Riley and the Miami Heat have been on a role trading and waiving players to help clear space and lighten the burden of the luxury tax. Shabazz Napier, Zoran Dragic and Henry Walker have all left the team in the last two days.

Apparently, James Ennis was next on the block, and both he and the Miami Heat decided it would be best rather than being cut now, to amend his contract guarantee date to the beginning of the season. This is a good thing.

It's possible that the Heat informed Ennis they would waive him, and Ennis would prefer to prove himself in training camp and the chance to make the roster. Ennis was due 50% of his contract on August 1, now he has pushed that back to the start of the season, meaning he truly is a non-guaranteed contract all the up until the beginning of the season.

What this means is that it gives the Heat continual flexibility in their roster position, but also gives motivation for Ennis to improve. Instead of the Heat giving up on Ennis, it gives them a lot more opportunities to evaluate whether they think Ennis is going to be a good fit for the team. Now with Justise Winslow here and Gerald Green, Ennis may not be as used as last year.

The fact that his contract was amended shows that Ennis really wants to be in Miami and is giving the team more reason to keep him. But more than that, it puts more power into the Heat's hands. If they decided not continue with Ennis, then they have the roster room to sign someone else without penalty.

Clearly, the Heat are in the driver's seat in this situation.