On Sunday, Sean Marks and the Brooklyn Nets brass quietly added David Nwaba to the roster. With that signing, it seems the off-season is over for Marks as far as signings. The established 15 seem to be signed and Nwaba makes the cut last second, signing a two year deal with a team option in the second year.
The Brooklyn Nets have a team option on Year 2 of their deal with David Nwaba, league sources told @TheAthleticNBA. Nwaba also had interest from the Pacers, Kings, Rockets and Suns. https://t.co/8G4SZbM8VR
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) July 14, 2019
This will be Nwaba’s fourth team in as many years. His first three years were spent with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Chicago Bulls, and the Cleveland Cavaliers, in that order. He had his career high against the Nets so I’m sure he is hoping to find a home in Brooklyn.
What Does He Bring?
David Nwaba, despite only being 6’4″, has built somewhat of a reputation as being a good defender. As far as defensive rating goes, last year the Brooklyn Nets were middle of the pack. Coach Kenny Atkinson and Sean Marks definitely would like to change this.
Nwaba helps them step in the right direction of defense. His 7’0″ wingspan allows Nwaba to contest shots, get steals, and play the passing lanes. He also is a strong statured player who can get physical with his assignment. There isn’t a worry of him being overpowered by most players at his position. He will be able to hold his own and will be able to cover point guards as well as shooting guards. On occasion, we may see him guard some small forwards.
On offense, David Nwaba is an overall efficient scorer. Most of his shots come inside the arch, specifically in the paint. His first year in college, Nwaba shot 53% from the field his first year and 47% from the field throughout his three years.
Although these are good shooting percentages, Nwaba was putrid from beyond, shooting below 17% from out there. He didn’t venture out there too often which is the good thing, but when he did it wasn’t pretty. The same goes from his shooting at the foul line which was below 70% each of his three years.
In the NBA, Nwaba has been much improved from behind the arch, starting at a putrid 20% and now for his short career shooting around a half-way decent 33%. The problems from the line persist, but his touch at and around the rim hasn’t dissipated.
His first year in the league, albeit only a 20 game sample, he shot 58% from the floor. For his career total, he averages 49% from the floor. He uses that same 7’0″ wingspan that makes him a pesky defender to get high floaters up over the outstretched arms of opposing rim protectors and then to shoot over defenders smaller or who don’t jump with him.
Nwaba also has some bounce and hang time, which allows him to better change his shot while in the air. His powerful frame is good for drawing and absorbing contact that he historically has shown he finishes through. And lastly, as a player with a decent enough handle and passing ability, he could be one of the players who Kenny Atkinson allows to handle the rock in that third point guard role.
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Where Can He Improve?
So I brought this up just now, but the main things David probably needs to improve are his free throw shooting and catch and shoot ability. In about 22 minutes a game for his career, he averages a little more than two free throws a game. With his heavy attack the basket style and mentality, he’ll need to improve in that area of his game.
Not even being able to hit 69% of your free throws in college or the league as a guard is unacceptable and he should work to at least get it up to a respectable 75%. He’s already shown great improvement on his three balls and he should keep trending in that direction.
Most players who play under Kenny Atkinson have career years from beyond and with the Nets development staff, there shouldn’t be much worry that Nwaba will do just that. Improving both these things will help Nwaba stay on the floor in case he’s needed in big moments. Welcome to Brooklyn David! Work hard and ball out.