The 2016-17 NBA season is coming to an end for the Los Angeles Lakers with the team finishing without a playoff berth for the fourth straight season. Although this year was forgettable, the team did some a few young players shine at times, even unexpected newcomers like David Nwaba.
Nwaba has played well in his short stint with the Lakers earning a multiyear deal with the team after consecutive 10-day contracts expired. Now it appears he’ll be headed back to the Los Angeles D-Fenders for their upcoming playoff run, according to Joey Ramirez of Lakers.com:
Luke Walton says he plans to assign David Nwaba to the @DFenders for the D-League playoffs.
— Joey Ramirez (@JoeyARamirez) March 31, 2017
Although Nwaba isn’t an offensive force in the backcourt compared to D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson, the 24-year-old has been arguably the team’s best defensive player since being called up from the D-Fenders.
Nwaba has been a solid addition to the roster for Luke Walton and company. The Cal Poly product brings a lot of energy off the bench while providing a defensive toughness that has been sorely lacking on this team for quite some time.
In 15 games with the Lakers, Nwaba averaged 4.6 points and 3.0 rebounds per game while shooting 56.3 percent from the floor. His stats aren’t going to turn any heads, but much like teammate Larry Nance Jr., his effort on the floor makes an impact on a nightly basis, and he’s certainly proven worth in a short amount of time.
The regular season finale for the D-Fenders will be played on Saturday with Los Angeles set to host the Salt Lake City Stars. The D-League playoffs begin on April 4 with the D-Fenders still hoping to clinch the top seed in the Western Conference.