One of the few bright spots in an otherwise bleak rebuilding year has been David Nwaba bringing a strong motor and versatility to the beleaguered Chicago Bulls. Now, the franchise is showing a commitment to the 24-year-old combo guard by guaranteeing his contract for the rest of the season, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
As expected, the Chicago Bulls will guarantee the contract of David Nwaba for rest of the season, league sources tell ESPN. He's been a revelation for the Bulls and undoubtedly will be one of the intriguing restricted free agents on market this summer.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 7, 2018
Nwaba went un-drafted out of Cal Poly, but caught on with the Los Angeles Lakers midway through the 2016-17 season after shining with their D-League affiliate. He made the 2017 All-Defensive and All-Rookie teams as a member of the Los Angeles D-Fenders and averaged six points and 3.2 rebounds in 20 games with the Lakers.
Needing guard depth after dealing All-Star Jimmy Butler, the Bulls pounced on Nwaba once he was waived by the Lakers during the offseason. He's been impressive through 28 games with the franchise, averaging 7.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists while posting an effective career field goal percentage of 55.5. He'll continue to be a key for the team as they await the return of high-flying guard Zach LaVine, currently on the mend after an ACL tear. An explosive leaper, Nwaba had plenty of highlight dunks during his time in L.A.
Fans and media members on Twitter expressed their excitement for Nwaba, who has had a long and challenging path to NBA success. Some even lamented that the Lakers, currently in the midst of a nine-game losing streak, let go of Nwaba in the offseason.
This is great. David Nwaba has been a solid contributor and his game is a lot of fun. https://t.co/99Jgu13wFx— Walker Carey (@walkerRcarey) January 7, 2018
Good for Nwaba. Solid guy who busted his ass to make opportunities for himself. AK https://t.co/ZRWwXEj1gw— Kamenetzky Brothers (@KamBrothers) January 7, 2018
Look I'm a Laker fan too and I even know that that it's not happening.— Luca Pennisi (@LucAltair) January 7, 2018
I've got nothing against the KCP signing, but cutting Nwaba was just a waste.
Nwaba himself didn't seem to be stressing over the January 7 league-wide guarantee deadline. He told the Chicago Tribune on January 6 that he wasn't even aware of when the deadline was.
“I just work hard, compete and see what I can do to help teams win games."
And that hard work clearly paid off.