March Madness: How Tyler Ennis Would Fit With The Lakers

March Madness: How Tyler Ennis Would Fit With The Lakers


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We continue with our March Madness series. Thursday focused on Louisville forward Montrezl Harrell while yesterday looked at Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart.

Today we stick with the point guards and focus on Syracuse’s Tyler Ennis. Ennis has risen on draft boards possibly higher than anyone else since the beginning of this season.

In leading the Orange to a 25-0 start, Ennis grabbed the attention of scouts everywhere, and now looks to be the most safe, and NBA-ready point guard prospect in the draft.

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Ennis has everything you look for in an old-school, pass first point guard. He has excellent court vision, can make every pass you need to, and can knock down the open jump shot if left open.

He has an excellent handle with either hand, and rarely turns the ball over. He has posted a nearly 4-to-1 assist to turnover ratio this season and averages more than two steals a game as well.

While he isn’t the loud, yelling type of person, he is a quiet leader. He has no problem directing traffic on offense, and is a true floor general.

He excels at getting in the paint and is able to finish with both hands, or find open shooters. While not the fastest person in the world, he is great at getting the break started with open court passes, much like Kendall Marshall.

Playing at Syracuse, in the tough ACC, his game never wavered. He was a steady player in every sense, having only eight games with less than four assists, and eight games in single digit scoring.


The main issues with Ennis revolve around defense, and his lack of elite quickness and athleticism.

The NBA is full of point guards who are either explosive athletes like Russell Westbrook, John Wall, and Eric Bledsoe, or extremely quick like Stephen Curry, Ty Lawson, and Damian Lillard.

Ennis has to be able to guard these guys and we don’t know if he can do it yet. Playing in the signature Syracuse 2-3 zone does nothing to answer those questions. With the Lakers being terrible defensively as it is, they are surely looking to turn that defensive rating around and Ennis probably won’t.

There is also a question of whether he has NBA three-point range. He shot 37.5 percent from three-point range this season, but the deeper NBA line could prove to be more of a challenge.

One other question regarding Ennis is his development potential. Is he a player who can grow into an elite point guard averaging 18 points and nine assists? Or is he just more of a ten point, six assist role player?

Everyone can’t be a star, but that is what you are looking for in a top-10 pick and it is unsure if Ennis can become that.


Ennis’ ceiling is slightly lower than that of Smart or Dante Exum, but his floor is also much higher than those two. He isn’t an elite athlete by any means, but he also isn’t Andre Miller slow.

He understands the game of basketball extremely well and is someone who can come in and contribute right now.

The Lakers have been trying to get a true point guard to take over the reins for a few years now and Ennis could undoubtedly be that guy.

If Ennis can improve his jump shot a little bit, he can become a George Hill-type player at worst. At best, Ennis can develop into a player similar to New Orleans point guard Jrue Holiday.

Ennis will have a spot in this league because of his excellent passing and court vision. If the Lakers are able to add a couple of big names like Kevin Love or Carmelo Anthony to go along with Kobe Bryant, Ennis would be the perfect addition to run the show.

If the Lakers end up in the 6-8 range in the draft, Ennis will be in the conversation. Ennis will be a steady, reliable point guard, with the potential to become even greater. With the Lakers point guard position going through so much turmoil, he would lock down that position for years to come.
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  • kobe24

    Seems like a Kendall Marshall Lakers don’t need him (unless someone could tell me if there’s anything extremely different from this guy and KM)

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  • LakersHeatBeef

    I like Tyler Ennis but we already have Kendall Marshall and we all know he is coming back since he is second in the entire NBA in assists he dishes out over 9 dimes per game and he is only 22 years old and has shown the ability to make 3 pointers this season and he has been scoring more than expected this season slightly over 8 points per game.Kendall Marshall must work on his defense and he might want to learn how to make a floater and learn some more scoring moves.

    If Tyler Ennis was drafted by the Lakers and he could be better than Kendall Marshall then okay bring him in but i see Marcus Smart and Dante Exum as All Star type franchise Point Guards,Ennis is at best Andre Miller.Good player i like Tykler just not a player the Lakers need with Kendall Marshall on board.

    Smart and Exum are head and shoulders far and away a million times better than Kendall Marshall.They got speed and strength that Marshall can only dream of those guys are real athletic players and Marcus Smart is a Gary Payton type defender and Kendall Marshall is slow and not a good athlete and his defense is bad.But Marshall is a better passer than Smart and Exum.

    • vdogg

      lakers should draft embiid if they can (and if he is healthy, of course). if they can’t get him, they should go for exum. if not exum, then smart. wiggins and parker are good, but the lakers could pick up a good SF in free agency (ariza, deng or even melo).

      • comrade24

        I just can’t understand this! We’ve been plagued for two seasons with injury after injury. So yeah, if we get the #1 pick let’s use it on a guy who’s out of the NCAA tournament right now with a stress fracture in his back. Jim Buss would be so proud.

        • Chrmngblly

          Yer not sassin Jim Buss are ye?

  • Zimmeredge

    “Everyone can’t be a star, but that is what you are looking for in a top-10 pick and it is unsure if Ennis can become that […]If the Lakers end up in the 6-8 range in the draft, Ennis will be in the conversation”

    do you often re-read yourself? first you say looking for an elite/star pg at top10 and unsure if ennis could turn into that… then you say if the lakers have top 6-8 draft pick then he is in the conversation….

    first they are others pg that are lower than him yet better than him. second, Smart is on another planet already. He is ready to rock the nba with his energy, defensive prowess one-on-one and all. he’s not a good shooter nor a good passer but he does a terrific job and can be on fire.
    i’ll pass on Elfrid, Nappier that are imo better than ennis… I know Exum is training in LA with Mr Grover so he might be bulkier right now.

    • comrade24

      I think maybe he’s “in the conversation” like the film “Nebraska” was in the conversation for Best Picture. Not a chance in hell it would have won, but hey it’s not bad, it’s in the conversation.

  • comrade24

    I think if they’re still available obviously you go for Parker or Wiggins, if not, Exum, if not Marcus Smart. It’s unlikely that we’ll fall too far for at least Exum or Smart to not be available.

  • meep

    The guy sound like Marshall

    • Chrmngblly

      Yeah. And I want to see Marshall after at least one summer to work on his game.