LOS ANGELES- Midway through his second 10-day contract, it’s unclear if the Los Angeles Lakers plan to sign David Nwaba for the rest of the season upon the expiration of his current deal.
After Nwaba contributed a few key dunks and big block as part of the Lakers’ near-comeback against the Milwaukee Bucks, Russell made it sound like he hopes the undrafted rookie won’t be going anywhere.
"David Nwaba was amazing. I'm surprised he's not on the team right now as far as long-term contract. He's amazing,” Russell said.
Nwaba finished the night with arguably his best game as a Laker, chipping in four points, two rebounds and a block to go with some tenacious, turnover forcing defense as the Lakers fought their way back. He has averaged 3.2 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.7 blocks in 13.5 minutes per game with the Lakers, who have been a team-high 2.6 points per 100 possessions with Nwaba on the floor.
Russell’s words also could carry slightly more weight, as he’s gotten an up-close-and-personal look at Nwaba’s defense in practices, where the latter is sometimes asked to slow Russell down and make things tough on him.
Lakers head coach Luke Walton has previously said that the team wants to get a look at other players on 10-day contracts as the year goes on, but Nwaba might have been impactful enough in his short minutes to warrant a signing for the rest of the season.
Or at least Russell certainly seems to thinks so.
All stats per NBA.com and Basketball-Reference.com. Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.