David Nwaba probably isn't the Bulls' longterm option at guard, but he's certainly making the most of his starting opportunity.
Signed this offseason in a move framed as Gar Forman and John Paxson taking a low-risk flyer on an athletic defender, the 24-year-old Cal Poly alumnus has impacted games with his high energy and all-around floor game.
Case and point: Friday's feel-good, 105-83 road win over a surprisingly solid Orlando Magic squad, where Nwaba finished with 16 points, five boards, two steals while posting a game-high plus-21.
Maybe the most eye-opening moment of the Bulls' second victory of the season, though, was the block party invitation Nwaba hand-delivered to Magic forward Wesley Iwundu:
It caps a solid road trip for the second-year pro, who's played in only 27 career NBA games. In the Bulls' loss to Miami on Wednesday -- Nwaba's first start of the season -- he snagged 11 rebounds and rejected two shots.
And while there are clear limitations to Nwaba's offensive game (see: outside shooting), his high motor, pressure defense and, you guessed it, ridiculous blocks have been welcoming sights for a team with a penchant to miss assignments and allow the more-than-occasional blow by.
"I don’t expect you to know who I am," Nwaba wrote in a Player's Tribune essay just after being claimed by the Bulls. "I’m just thankful to have the chance to tell you."
It looks like he's done telling us now, opting instead to just show us:
Nwaba will lose minutes to Zach LaVine once the Bulls' top talent recovers from ACL injury, but as of now, he's played himself into a future rotation.