Former Rick Pitino recruit Jordan Nwora experienced his first dose of the NBA business when he was dealt from the Milwaukee Bucks to the Indiana Pacers just before the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline.
A former four-star recruit out of Vermont Academy in Buffalo, New York and the number one player in the state of New York in the Class of 2017, Jordan Nwora chose to play his collegiate career at the University of Louisville. Primarily recruited by then-assistant coach Kenny Johnson, the 6-foot-8 small forward chose the Cardinals over the likes of UConn, Memphis, Auburn, USC, and many others.
Unfortunately, Nwora only had the chance to play for Head Coach Rick Pitino for one season before he was let go in the midst of the Brian Bowen recruiting scandal. In the lone season under Pitino, he put up 5.7 points per game, 0.4 assists per game, and 2.2 rebounds per game coming off the bench.
Once Chris Mack was hired to replace Rick Pitino, his role greatly increased, starting 59 out of 65 games over the next two seasons. In his final season as a Cardinal, Nwora averaged 18.0 points per game, 7.7 rebound per game, and shot 40% from behind the arc. Statistics like that earned him a spot in the 2020 NBA Draft, where he was selected 45th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks.
The NBA season that followed this draft, the Milwaukee Bucks would go on to defeat the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals, earning himself an NBA Championship. Even though Nwora was a reserve on that team, he was still awarded with the same championship ring that Giannis Antetokounmpo received.
Now, he is 24 years old and in his third season in the NBA and he experienced his first taste of the business side of the league yesterday just prior to the 3:00 PM NBA Trade Deadline.
The Milwaukee Bucks packaged Nwora with long-time NBA veterans George Hill and Serge Ibaka, a 2023 second round pick, and a 2024 second round pick to send to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Jae Crowder (via the Brooklyn Nets).
Jae Crowder was acquired by the Brooklyn Nets in the blockbuster deal that sent two-time NBA Champion Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns. The Nets quickly flipped him to the Bucks as a part of this three-team trade that would be completed by the Nets receiving three more of the Bucks secound round picks.
In order for the Pacers to take on these three additions, they had to waive Goga Bitadze, Terry Taylor, and James Johnson. Nwora now becomes teammates with rising star Tyrese Haliburton, long-time Pacer center Myles Turner, and Rookie of the Year candidate Bennedict Mathurin.
Indiana is putting together a nice young team as they avoided the potential devastating trade of the heavily rumored Russell Westbrook for Buddy Hield and Myles Turner deal. And the way that the team is structured, Jordan Nwora could find some nice playing time for the Pacers for the remainder of the season.
According to Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale, the Pacers won this trade. Here is what he had to say in regards to Jordan Nwora’s play:
"“Nwora can be a slippery on-ball scorer who spaces the floor away from the action. He is shooting a higher clip from three (39.2 percent) than on twos (37.9 percent) this season.”"
That kind of player is always a need in today’s NBA and now it will be exciting to see how he does in a Pacers jersey.