The Los Angeles Lakers made their first big move of free agency when they signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a one-year $18 million contract. Unfortunately that move came at a price as they had to waive David Nwaba in order to get the money necessary to sign Caldwell-Pope.
There was hope that Nwaba could still return to the Lakers if he were able to pass through waivers as they could re-sign him. That will not be the case however, as Nwaba was claimed by the Chicago Bulls according to Shams Charania of The Vertical:
The Chicago Bulls have claimed Lakers free agent David Nwaba off waivers, league sources tell The Vertical.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 14, 2017
With Nwaba’s cheap contract and defensive potential it makes sense that he would be claimed by someone. He is an excellent athlete who can be a lockdown player on the perimeter. His jump shot was questionable, but he had been working hard on it this offseason.
The Lakers brought Nwaba up from the South Bay Lakers (then the Los Angeles D-Fenders) last season. After impressing the team during two 10-day contracts the Lakers decided to bring him on for the remainder of the season with an option for another year.
Ultimately the Lakers decided to pick up Nwaba’s option, but it was still a non-guaranteed deal making it the obvious choice to shed once Caldwell-Pope agreed to a contract. Now Nwaba will look to make an impact in Chicago next to future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade.
Last season Nwaba appeared in 20 games for the Lakers, averaging 6.0 points and 3.2 rebounds while shooting 57.1 percent from the field. Nwaba also was part of the Lakers summer league team before being released, averaging 9.7 points and 6.3 rebounds and shooting 58 percent from the field in three games in Las Vegas.