Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Rockets sign David Nwaba, but for next season not Orlando restart

David Nwaba Rockets

BROOKLYN, NY - DECEMBER 1: David Nwaba #0 of the Brooklyn Nets handles the ball against the Miami Heat on December 1, 2019 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Leave it to Daryl Morey to use the transaction window — set up to help round out rosters for the restart in Orlando — to add a piece for next season.

Tuesday, the Rockets signed David Nwaba to a two-year deal. The story was broken by Shams Charania of The Athletic and later confirmed by the Rockets themselves.

The Rockets had a full roster heading to Orlando, so to make room for Nwaba they cut center Isaiah Hartenstein. While Hartenstein showed some promise, the center does not fit with the Rockets’ small-ball game.

The Nwaba signing is not about the restart, he will not lace them up in Orlando (but still make $903,000). He was carving out a growing spot in the Brooklyn rotation back in December when he tore his Achilles, ending his season. The injury took place in December, meaning he likely would not return to play until this December — right when the next NBA season is scheduled to tip-off. Nwaba is set to make $1.8 million next season.

He will add wing depth and some defense to the Rockets next season (assuming his deal for next season is fully guaranteed). In theory, he’d fit in well with the small-ball style of play the Rockets have adopted this season, but with coach Mike D’Antoni a lame duck that few around the league expect to return, it’s impossible to predict the Rockets’ style of play next season. Or who the coach will be. Or, maybe, who the general manager will be. There are a lot of things up in the air in Houston.

But we know David Nwaba will be on the Rockets.