There’s not much to recap on guy who didn’t play a single minute of action this season for the Houston Rockets, but when the team signed Nwaba to a two-year minimum free agent deal back in June, he was already out for the year with an Achilles tear.
This was a signing with an eye on the future, as Nwaba seems to fit in exactly with what the Rockets look for in a wing player. He’s 6’7” with a 7’1” wingspan, meaning he can guard several positions.
He’s an athlete, plays solid defense, and is developing a capable three-point shot. Though just a 34.4 percent three-point shooter for his career, he was making 42.9 percent of his triples with the Brooklyn Nets in 20 games this past season before being hurt.
So instead of a recap, this is more about what to expect from Nwaba moving forward.
The biggest question is his health. This is the first real injury of Nwaba’s career, and the 27-year-old doesn’t have a lot of wear on his tires, playing 161 games over four seasons of action, meaning there’s a chance he recovers fully.
However, a torn Achilles is notoriously difficult to bounce back from, and we’ve seen it time and again where players just aren’t the same following that type of injury. Whether or not Nwaba can return to full health will tell the tale of what he means to the Rockets moving forward.
He’s the type of guy that can come to Houston, and because he already fits their style, could be effective in niche role playing 15 or so minutes off the bench. Conrad posted a video a while back of some of Nwaba’s film, mostly highlighting his appreciable athleticism and defense. Here it is again:
The other side of this is if he doesn’t come back fully healthy. But the good news is that the small size of the contract means this is a very low-risk gamble on the part of Daryl Morey.
If he makes it back, I bet we see him on the roster and earning minutes next year.