When the Los Angeles Lakers made the decision to release veteran point guard Jose Calderon it left the team with only 14 players on the roster. This gave them the opportunity to give some guys a tryout on a 10-day contract and they immediately called out David Nwaba from the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
Nwaba had been one of the most impressive defensive players in the D-League which is something the Lakers have sorely lacked this season. The Lakers will soon have a decision to make however, as Nwaba’s 10-day contract expires on Friday.
Head coach Luke Walton has given Nwaba some opportunities and according to Mark Medina of the LA Daily News, believes that he has done enough to earn another 10-day contract:
“He’s done, in my opinion, everything he can to deserve another 10-day,” Walton said. “I like his defensive intensity. I like his character as a person. I like his work ethic. Those are types of qualities we want around our locker room.”
Nwaba’s numbers don’t necessarily stand out, which is to be expected considering he’s primarily a defensive specialist and isn’t getting a ton of minutes regularly. That being said, he has shown some potential on defense and the Lakers badly need help on that end of the floor.
One of the main problems with the Lakers is that they have nobody that they can put on the other team’s best player to make things more difficult on them. Jordan Clarkson and Brandon Ingram have shown flashes, but neither is close to being a defensive stopper.
Having someone of Nwaba’s nature, whose main focus is on the defensive end could definitely be beneficial to the Lakers. Of course, with only 19 games remaining, the team might want to get a look at a couple of other players as well. Even with Nwaba standing out to Walton, it may not be enough to keep him around, simply because there are others who deserve a look.