EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Lakers have exercised their $1.3 million contract option on guard David Nwaba for the upcoming season.

The Lakers announced the move Wednesday.

Nwaba earned a job with the Lakers after they called him up from their D-League affiliate on Feb. 28. The rookie averaged 6.0 points and 3.2 rebounds per game while impressing Luke Walton's coaching staff with his hustle and defensive play.

The Lakers signed him to a new contract with a multi-year component just three weeks after his NBA debut.

Nwaba is a local product, attending University High School in West Los Angeles and Santa Monica College before finishing his college career at Cal Poly.


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John Salley makes a bold prediction and says that he can envision Phil Jackson helping the Lakers rebuild alongside Magic Johnson and Jeanie Buss.

The Ball family had the Staples Center crowd buzzing Monday night after their unforgettable appearance with The Miz on WWE Raw, the latest instance in a long and storied history of figures from the professional sports world dusting it up in the squared circle.

The intertwining of professional athletes and professional wrestling goes back decades. Muhammad Ali's bouts with Antonio Inoki and Gorilla Monsoon, as well as his guest-refereeing of the main event at the first WrestleMania, are still some of the most talked-about moments in pro wrestling history. One of Ali's most legendary adversaries, Joe Frazier, gave the striped shirt a try once, officiating one of Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes' famous bouts.

From Lawrence Taylor headlining WrestleMania XI, to Mike Tyson delivering Stone Cold Steve Austin his first world title, to Rob Gronkowski's memorable charge into the ring at last April's WrestleMania 33, pro wrestling's colorful history is illuminated with memorable appearances from the pro sports world.

What's your favorite memory? Rank the best ones below:

Given LaVar's outsized, occasionally cartoonish persona, we're sure this won't be the last time we see the Ball family at a WWE event.

-- Brendan C. Hall


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Will Cain details how the Lakers could use Lonzo Ball to secure Russell Westbrook.
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Stephen A. Smith provides the latest on Paul George, who has indicated he won't re-sign with the Pacers next season.
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LaVar Ball and his sons Lonzo and LaMelo show up on WWE's Monday Night Raw in a segment with the Miz, during which LaVar gets heated to a point where he takes his shirt off.
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Stephen A. Smith credits LaVar Ball for raising the profile of his son Lonzo but ultimately the new Laker will need answer the bell for himself if criticism arises.
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Actor Will Ferrell recalls the moment LaVar Ball referenced "Zeus" like Anchorman's Ron Burgundy at the NBA draft.
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Jemele Hill explains why she could see Russell Westbrook consider going to the Lakers should he turn down an extension with the Thunder while Michael Smith thinks Westbrook will stay in Oklahoma City.
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The SportsNation crew discusses the good and bad about Magic comments on D'Angelo Russell's leadership.
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The Los Angeles Lakers have signed undrafted South Carolina guard P.J. Dozier, who helped lead the Gamecocks to the Final Four back in March.

Scouting report -- positives:

  • Athletic combo guard
  • Has elite size when he plays the point guard position
  • Can score from anywhere on the floor

Scouting report -- negatives:

  • Needs to add strength
  • Inconsistent 3-point shooter

Read the full scouting report (Insider)

ESPN Analytics projection (within his first five seasons):

  • Chances he'll be an All-Star: 0.11 percent
  • Chances he'll be an NBA starter: 6.72 percent
  • Chances he'll be a role player: 9.21 percent

More player projections  |  How our projection model works


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NEW YORK -- Ready to start fresh in Brooklyn, D'Angelo Russell said Magic Johnson's criticism of his leadership skills is "irrelevant."

"It is good to be here," Russell said at the Nets' practice facility in Brooklyn. "Can't really control that, what they say, I'm gone. So it's the past. I am here now. It's irrelevant, honestly."

During his introductory news conference with the Brooklyn Nets, Russell repeatedly tried to turn the page from the Los Angeles Lakers to his new home. But surely, Russell will hear about what Johnson said plenty more this coming season.

Last week, Johnson explained why the Lakers traded Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Nets for Brook Lopez and the 27th overall pick.

"D'Angelo is an excellent player," the Lakers president of basketball operations said on Friday when the team introduced second overall pick Lonzo Ball. "He has the talent to be an All-Star. We want to thank him for what he did for us.

"But what I needed was a leader. I needed somebody also that can make the other players better and also that players want to play with."

Russell, 21, has certainly heard the knock on his maturity since being drafted second overall out of Ohio State in 2015. But Russell said he plans on being a leader for the young, rebuilding Nets.


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Will Cain sides with Magic Johnson after his comments on needing a leader and respects Johnson for telling the truth, despite it affecting D'Angelo Russell's ego.
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Regardless if LeBron James decides to become a Laker, Will Cain says that Lonzo Ball will be the face of Los Angeles for the next decade.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jordan Clarkson
PTS AST STL MIN
14.7 2.6 1.1 29.2
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Randle 8.6
AssistsJ. Randle 3.6
StealsL. Nance Jr. 1.3
BlocksI. Zubac 0.9