David Nwaba is no longer a restricted free agent, meaning he can sign outright with any NBA team, and interested clubs are checking in on the young shooting guard. According to TNT’s David Aldridge (Twitter link), several teams have reached out to Nwaba, including the Spurs and Lakers. There’s no clear frontrunner at this point, Aldridge adds.
Nwaba, who was eligible for restricted free agency this summer, received a qualifying offer from the Bulls last month, giving the team the right of first refusal on any offer sheet he signed. However, Chicago withdrew that QO on Thursday, despite its modest price ($1.7MM), leading to speculation that the club is maximizing its cap room for a bigger move.
Despite making Nwaba an unrestricted free agent, the Bulls haven’t given up hope of re-signing him. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer tweets that the Bulls have interest in using the room exception to bring back Nwaba after they use up their cap space. A source confirmed to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune that the team hasn’t ruled out re-signing Nwaba once it completes other business.
In order to retain Nwaba though, the Bulls would have to count on the 25-year-old waiting out the team’s other move(s) and being willing to accept the $4.45MM room exception. Those aren’t unreasonable requests, but if Nwaba gets a comparable offer from another suitor, he may not want to wait on Chicago.
A former undrafted free agent, Nwaba had a solid season for the Bulls in 2017/18, averaging 7.9 PPG and 4.7 RPG while playing strong perimeter defense in 70 games (21 starts).