One of the biggest factors in D-League postseason success is whether or not a team ends up losing its best players to NBA call-ups. It’s a problem any D-League team would be happy to have, given that their primary goal is giving their players chances in the NBA, but it still leaves gaps to fill in the rotation.
The Los Angeles D-Fenders looked to be one of those teams, appearing set to enter the D-League postseason as the top seed in the Western Conference without David Nwaba, who was called up to the Los Angeles Lakers after helping the D-Fenders jump out to one of the league’s best starts.
However, Lakers head coach Luke Walton told Joey Ramirez of Lakers.com that he plans to send Nwaba back down to the D-Fenders for their postseason run.
That’s good news for the D-Fenders, who play their final regular season game Saturday night at home against the Salt Lake City Stars.
The D-Fenders have been an astounding 14.1 points per 100 possessions better than their opponents when Nwaba plays versus when he doesn’t, and it appears they’ll get their D-League Defensive Player of the Year candidate back as they attempt to return to the D-League Finals for the second straight season.
All stats per stats.nbadleague.com, 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.