Lakers exercise team option on David Nwaba

Lakers guard David Nwaba (10), left, tries to drive past the Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson (24) during a game at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 19, 2017. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Orange County Register/SCNG)

The Lakers exercised a $1.3 million team option that will keep second-year guard David Nwaba for the 2017-18 season.

The Lakers had until Thursday to decide whether they would retain Nwaba on a non-guaranteed contract. Nwaba plans to play on the Lakers’ Summer League team in Las Vegas beginning on July 7, which will feature No. 2 pick Lonzo Ball, second-year forward Brandon Ingram, second-year center Ivica Zubac, No. 27 pick Kyle Kuzma, No. 32 pick Josh Hart and No. 42 pick Thomas Bryant.

The Lakers became impressed with Nwaba after calling him up from the D-Fenders for a 10-day contract shortly after negotiating a buyout for veteran guard Jose Calderon following the Feb. 23 trade deadline. The Lakers subsequently signed him to another 10-day deal before signing him to a two-year deal. He averaged 6.0 points on 58 percent shooting and 3.2 rebounds in 19.9 minutes through 20 appearances and two starts.

Nwaba, who starred at University High of Los Angeles and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo before going undrafted, also impressed the Lakers with his defense and overall hustle, two traits the coaching staff thought the team collectively lacked throughout the season. He previously played with the Lakers’ Development League affiliate, the D-Fenders, where he averaged 14.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks in 29.0 minutes per game.


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