The Cavaliers have agreed to sign free agent swingman David Nwaba, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). According to Charania and Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com (Twitter link), Nwaba and the Cavs are still in the process of finalizing the details of the deal.
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). He opened the month of July as a restricted free agent, but when Chicago made a series of cost-cutting moves to create the cap room necessary to sign Jabari Parker, rescinding Nwaba’s qualifying offer was one of those moves.
After Nwaba became an unrestricted free agent, Vardon reported that there was mutual interest between the 25-year-old and the Cavaliers. Nwaba also reportedly drew interest from the Lakers and Spurs, and Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News tweets that there was “lots of dialogue” with the Timberwolves, but Cleveland was aggressive in its pursuit.
According to Charania (via Twitter), the Cavs were in touch with Nwaba from the very first day of free agency and recruited him hard, meeting last week with the Los Angeles native.
While the terms of Nwaba’s deal with the Cavs aren’t yet known, the team has plenty of options for what it could have offered. Cleveland is over the cap, but still has its full mid-level and bi-annual exceptions available.
Nwaba will only be the 12th Cavaliers player on a fully guaranteed contract for 2018/19, though the club also has decisions to make on Rodney Hood‘s restricted free agency and Okaro White‘s non-guaranteed salary. With approximately $108MM in guaranteed money on their books before signing Nwaba or accounting for Hood or White, the Cavs will have one eye on the $123.73MM tax line as they fill out their roster.
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