The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly interested in bringing back free agent guard David Nwaba. No, this is not the summer of 2017.
According to David Aldridge of NBA.com, the Lakers are among several teams that have expressed interest in the 25-year-old.
No surprise: several teams have reached out to @dnwaba0, whose qualifying offer was rescinded by Chicago Thursday, making him an unrestricted free agent.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 (@davidaldridgedc) July 13, 2018
Heading into free agency, Nwaba was a restricted free agent, giving the Bulls the opportunity to match any offer sheet he might sign with another team. But with a dry market in terms of teams having little spending money and Chicago matching a lucrative offer sheet for guard Zach LaVine already, the Bulls renounced Nwaba, making him an unrestricted free agent.
This comes a year after the Lakers waived Nwaba to make room for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who possibly started the process of landing LeBron James in free agency this summer. The Lakers reportedly hoped Nwaba would clear waivers last summer so that they could still bring him back, but the Bulls claimed him.
Nwaba really broke into the NBA with the Lakers two seasons ago, making a strong impression with his defense and ability to play off the basketball and utilize his motor and athleticism.
The Lakers already have a pretty crowded guard rotation as is with Caldwell-Pope, Lonzo Ball, Rajon Rondo, Josh Hart and Lance Stephenson. But the Lakers have also preached playing positionless basketball, so there could potentially be a spot in the rotation for Nwaba. Perhaps Hart essentially becomes the backup to Brandon Ingram at the three, as the former’s strength and length has shown he can guard taller, bigger players.
Nwaba was a fan favorite in his brief stint with the Lakers. He would be a welcome addition to a team that made strides defensively last season. Nwaba could also fit in well as a great cutter away from the ball. With many teams interested, it appears a Nwaba return could be unlikely, as he could probably find some more playing time elsewhere. But as free agency has shown, anything can happen.
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