NEW YORK — There will come a time later this year when Tyler Ennis steps out of his home and is greeted with an unfamiliar feeling.
After spending most of his life in Canada and the northeast, and then the past year at Syracuse, Ennis will be headed to Phoenix, where the Suns selected him with the 18th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft. Temperatures rarely dip below 60 degrees, even in the middle of winter.
“This is probably going to be my first [winter] not seeing snow,” Ennis said. “But I think change is good.”
Ennis joins a team that was the surprise of the NBA. Phoenix was not expected to compete for a playoff position, but narrowly missed the postseason after winning 48 games. The Suns got there by employing an up-tempo style, which may contrast with the more deliberate pace Ennis set at Syracuse.
Ennis didn’t see it that way.
“I fit the system going up and down and finding guys in transition,” he said. “I see myself not turning the ball over too much, and I think when you’re on the fast break running, you get vulnerable if you turn over the ball.”
Ennis joins a crowded back court that includes leading scorer Goran Dragic. The Suns may also resign restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe.
But Ennis wasn’t concerned about the logjam.
“I’m more than ready to work,” he said. “At this level, you definitely have to earn your keep, earn your minutes on any team you go to.”
It is the second year in a row that Syracuse has had a point guard get drafted in the first round. Last year, Michael Carter-Williams was taken in the first round by the Philadelphia 76ers, and ended up being Rookie of the Year.
Carter-Williams was on hand to see his successor get selected, and the two shared an embrace shortly after Ennis walked off stage.
“I saw him today and he congratulated me,” Ennis said. “It’s good to have somebody in your corner that went through the same thing as you and is just there to help you.”
Phoenix has plenty of experience with Canadian point guards. Steve Nash won two MVPs in his career with the Suns.
“If they see something in me that they seen in Steve and the career he had,” Ennis said, “I’m definitely more than happy to go in there and do the same thing that Steve did.”