The Los Angeles Lakers are moving forward with the youth movement. The two highest-paid players on the team have been shut down, and the coaching staff is experimenting with the roster while auditioning players like David Nwaba.
Nwaba, formerly of the Los Angeles D-Fenders, has played well after getting the call from the Lakers. The Cal Poly product caught the eye of the coaching staff due to his play defensively, and he’s been as advertised during his short stint with the Lakers.
The question now is whether the Lakers brass continues to experiment with players from the D-League or keep moving forward with Nwaba. Although Walton will talk to the general manager Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson about possibly keeping Nwaba on the team, there’s a chance they give another player an opportunity on the NBA level, via Mark Medina of the LA Daily News:
Luke plans to talk to front office about David Nwaba's future. Luke liked his play, but admitted possibility of wanting to sign new guys
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) March 20, 2017
In 10 games with the Lakers, Nwaba averaged 3.6 points and 2.0 rebounds per game. Nwaba’s stats may not jump off the sheet, but it is his presence on the floor and willingness to play hard-nosed defense every minute he’s on the floor that has impressed the coaching staff.
Nwaba has become the Lakers’ energy guy off the bench earning high praise from Walton and the guard’s teammates on a nightly basis for his effort on the floor. It seems as though Walton may support the idea of keeping Nwaba for the rest of the season but bringing in another guard from the D-Fenders like Vander Blue or Josh Maggette may be the direction the team decides to take.
Nwaba’s second 10-day contract with the team expires on Monday meaning he may have played his last game with the Lakers. Although his NBA journey may take a step back after Monday, the 23-year-old remains in high spirits and motivated, via Shahan Ahmed of NBCLA.com:
“I definitely hope to stick around and just get the NBA experience, but if not, get back to the D-League, keep working hard, keep working on my game and see where that goes,” Nwaba said.
There’s no doubt Nwaba has the right attitude moving forward, and if he maintains that mindset it may not be long before he’s back on the NBA level if the Lakers choose to bring on another player with a 10-day deal.