In signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope last season, the Los Angeles Lakers had to say goodbye to a very popular (and useful) player in David Nwaba. Thanks to the Chicago Bulls being, well, the Chicago Bulls, they might have an opportunity to redeem themselves for that series of events.
According to Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports, Nwaba is now an unrestricted free agent after some rough negotiations with Chicago.
Sources: The Chicago Bulls have rescinded the qualifying offer on guard David Nwaba, making him an unrestricted free agent.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 13, 2018
David Aldridge of NBA dot com followed up on the report to give a list of teams interested in the promising defensive shooting guard.
No surprise: several teams have reached out to @dnwaba0, whose qualifying offer was rescinded by Chicago Thursday, making him an unrestricted free agent. Spurs, Lakers among many, per source, with no frontrunner. Bulls still could re-sign him as well.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 13, 2018
Nwaba averaged just under 8 points per game, and as any Laker fan will remember is not a threat from outside, but his defense and energy level do help offset some of his offensive limitations.
What he does offer on offense comes in the form of cutting and finishing at the rim. He shot 56 percent on attempts inside five feet, and given how much attention will be paid to LeBron James, such a skill could definitely come in handy.
The one issue with Nwaba is whether he can find minutes in the rotation behind Caldwell-Pope, Lance Stephenson (and this signing looks even dumber with Nwaba now available, by the way), Josh Hart (who has really impressed in summer league) and even potentially Svi Mykhailiuk, though this would probably more of a competition and he could play the three anyway.
In order to carve out some minutes, Nwaba could slide down to the three in some lineups against smaller teams and play alongside one of the shooting guards listed above. He’s strong enough to slide all the way down to the four in some situations, though that would have to happen against an absolutely tiny lineup from the opposition.
It would be great to bring back Nwaba, but seeing as he’s probably going to get a one-year deal, he’ll probably want more minutes to prove himself for his next deal.