David Nwaba
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

With their final roster spot, the Brooklyn Nets are signing veteran shooting guard David Nwaba who rounds out an already strong roster.

Collin Loring

It’s hard to find many teams who’ve done better than the Brooklyn Nets this offseason. And their final signing continues the trend.

Per Shams Charania of the Athletic, Brooklyn has signed veteran shooting guard David Nwaba to a two-year deal.

 

Nwaba spent most of his rookie season in the NBA D-League before catching on in the league. He was with the Cleveland Cavaliers most recently.

In 51 appearances with the Cavs (14 of those in the starting lineup), Nwaba averaged 6.5 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. With a playoff run seemingly inevitable in Brooklyn, his signing reinforces just how deep this roster is.

Nwaba is the third capable shooting guard in Brooklyn, behind Caris LeVert and Garrett Temple. Playing time might still favor himself due to his defensive prowess.

A look at the Brooklyn Nets depth chart, and Nwaba’s fit within the team’s current plan.

Earned, Not Given

One fact that’s hard to miss regarding Nwaba’s NBA stature is his journey. He entered the league in 2016 undrafted out of California Polytechnic University.

So, Nwaba spent the first half of the 2016-2017 season exclusively within the D-League. The latter half, he spent with the Los Angeles Lakers, who waived him in July.

Two current key pieces to the Nets’ roster, Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris, also spent time bouncing to and from the D-League and NBA before arriving in Brooklyn. Both earned long-term deals with the club, who made the most of their potential.

Could the same resurgence be made for Nwaba, now with the Nets? Even if he doesn’t, there’s bound to be some respect within the locker room for the 26-year-old guard.

Defense First

Nwaba has displayed some offensive potential, but on the defensive end, actual prowess. It’s what got him his deal with both the Lakers and Cavaliers, and now the Nets.

In November of 2018, the Cavaliers tasked Nwaba with guarding (then) reigning MVP James Harden. And he delivered.

Harden went for 40, but on 14-for-30 shooting. When you’re guarding arguably the league’s top offensive player, and playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, that’s not a bad job.

On the offensive end, Nwaba has certainly displayed some potential. But more firmly on the open floor in transition.

That’s three Heat defenders he’s spinning past and dunking on, for what it’s worth. James Johnson, Goran Dragic, and Josh Richardson to be exact.

Nwaba’s fast, and he knows it. And to be frank, he’s just an excellent dunk to watch. There are Hollywood type dunks that get you in the dunk contest, but he put rarely misses his dunks for the sake of a highlight. It’s all business with Nwaba.

(And it helps that most of them are on the receiving end of what was previously his own steal.)

While other teams were interested in Nwaba per Mike Scotto of The Athletic, it’s hard to dismiss that his career-high came last season against none other than the Brooklyn Nets.

General manager Sean Marks got a front-row view to just what Nwaba is capable of—and he didn’t forget it.

He does all the little things, and he’s proven that he’s an NBA-level talent. For the veteran’s minimum, and a team like the Brooklyn Nets, it’s a match that couldn’t make any more sense.

Now in Brooklyn, the guard will have to compete for minutes, yes. But also, potentially compete for a championship.

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