NBA Rumor: David Nwaba Free Agency

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A 15th player under the Cavs’ control is David Nwaba, who could be a restricted free agent. Nwaba was limited to 51 games last season and averaged 6.5 points. A league source said the Cavs were likely to “do David a favor,” which probably means they intend to allow him to become an unrestricted free agent. The most likely scenario for Cleveland to fill those two roster spots is with players on minimum contracts. For a team like the Cavs, which is unlikely to make the playoffs, going into the luxury tax is unnecessary and unwise, which is why using one of their four trade exceptions (including the $3.5 million exception created in the Rodney Hood trade in February) or any significant portion of the $8.5 million midlevel exception seems unlikely.

Assuming they don’t trade Love, the Cavs’ core for the foreseeable future is him, Sexton, Cedi Osman (averaged 13 points in his first year as a starter; his improvement this year was another bright spot), Nance, possibly Ante Zizic (club option for 2020-21) and whomever they draft in June. Thompson and Clarkson, of course, are vets who will play huge roles, so long as they’re here. Another to keep your eye on is David Nwaba, who will be a restricted free agent this summer. He wants to be in Cleveland, and it would make sense for the Cavs to give him a multiyear contract if the price is right, which it could be. Nwaba played only 51 games because of injury.

David Nwaba admits this was a stressful summer. After initially believing he had finally found his home in Chicago, he thinks things worked out even better, landing in a place that’s a “perfect fit” for him. “Thought I was going to stay there for years to come,” Nwaba said when asked about his feelings toward the Bulls. “But it’s a business. It all worked out, ended up still living the dream of playing in the NBA. Think this is a good opportunity here and just moved past it.”

Former Los Angeles teammate Larry Nance Jr. put in a good word for Nwaba. But it wasn’t necessary. The Cavs’ front office showed interest in Nwaba early in free agency and recruited him hard after the Bulls reversed course. After meeting with Nwaba in Las Vegas at the end of July, the Cavs got an agreement from him, edging out the Indiana Pacers, who also showed interest. “Indiana wanted me for two years, but Cleveland seemed like a better fit,” Nwaba said. “Young guys as well as veterans on this team so I thought it was a perfect fit and knew I was going to get my opportunity here.”

David Nwaba, who signed a 10-day contract with the Lakers last week, was encouraged by Walton’s recent compliments. But when the Lakers mull whether to grant Nwaba a second 10-day contract on Friday, the variables go beyond Walton liking Nwaba’s defense. “We want to look at a couple of people before the season ends,” Walton said. “Some of them aren’t available right now. (Nwaba’s) been good. But we have to decide if we want to wait or look at someone else.”
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September 30, 2020 | 1:54 am EDT Update
Kevin Durant admitted it on Tuesday on his new podcast “The ETCs” on The Boardroom. At the 36:30 mark of the podcast, Irving is explaining how he and Durant both arrived in Brooklyn and how much of a surprise it was. And Durant interjects with this point. “The All-Star game video where they caught us in the hallway. That’s when it was solidified that we were going somewhere. They didn’t know for a fact where it was, but it was somewhere.”
The 20-year-old has been motivated all season long by those doubts and he said on Tuesday that being selected 13th overall by the Heat has even motivated him. Channeling his inner Draymond Green, Herro said he can even recite each player drafted ahead of him last year. I think being drafted 13 definitely motivates me, but I love where I was drafted. I mean, I love the opportunity I was drafted into, the situation. But the 12 guys ahead of me definitely are in the back of my head all the time, and I know every last one that was drafted ahead of me. And I mean, it definitely does fuel me.
But it’s a start for the face of the Knicks franchise who never saw his rookie season completed. Just as Barrett was coming on strong, the pandemic canceled the Knicks’ season on March 11 in Atlanta. It may have cost him any chance of all-rookie honors — as he was left off both teams. Sources say Barrett, the third pick in last year’s draft who turned 20 in June, was itching to get back onto the practice court more than any Knick after a six-month hiatus.
The closest that the Warriors’ trusty trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green will get to the finals is watching their former teammate Andre Iguodala, now with the Miami Heat, match up against a rival familiar to them all: LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers. “As a competitor, you always want to be there,” Green said, “but when people ask me if I miss basketball right now, I tell them in a heartbeat, ‘No, I don’t.’ We’ve done it at the highest level that you can possibly do it for five straight years. “What I do miss,” Green continued, “is competing at the absolute highest level. I will miss playing in the finals and knowing that every basketball player in the world is watching me play — performing on that stage.”
There is a plan, and a time and a place for everything, and Larry Tanenbaum and Raptors president Masai Ujiri are working at their own pace on all of it. The long-term future of Ujiri, whose contract runs out at the end of next season, is a growing concern among the team’s fans but Tanenbaum knows there is no need to rush. There are other priorities, as Ujiri spelled out last week. “Our fans, they love Masai for all that he’s contributed to the Raptors franchise and to our community and to our country — and our appreciation for him, that can’t be measured,” Tanenbaum, the chairman of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, said in an interview Tuesday. “But it was his and my game plan to secure his management team extension before his own.”
Storyline: Masai Ujiri Contract