On Saturday, Team USA basketball played a scrimmage against Team Nigeria in preparation for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics coming up later this month. A team featuring the likes of Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Jayson Tatum, Bradley Beal, and others, this group is relatively stacked with some of the best players the United States has to offer.
Team USA lost the scrimmage 90-87.
One of the heroes for the Nigerian national team was guard Caleb Agada, a Nigerian Canadien guard who spent the last year of his career in the Israeli League. Agada scored 17 points off the bench, including shooting 3-of-3 from behind the three-point line. That was the same number of points as Kevin Durant and tied for the second most in the game.
Agada, as it turns out, will be doing more than just playing for the Nigerian national team this summer. The Denver Nuggets will be adding him to their Las Vegas Summer League roster in August, confirmed by Brian Windhorst below but initially reported by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando on June 30th.
Caleb Agada, who had a breakout 17-point performance for Nigeria tonight in the upset over Team USA tonight, is planning to play summer league with the Denver Nuggets after the Olympics. He played last season in the Israeli League.— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 11, 2021
Caleb Agada will play for the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Summer League, sources tell @Sportando.— Emiliano Carchia (@Carchia) June 30, 2021
Agada spent the season in Israel with Hapoel Beer Sheva averaging 22.9ppg in domestic league
Agada stands at 6’5” while weighing roughly 205 pounds and, as Carchia notes above, averaged 22.9 points per game while playing for Hapoel Be’er Sheva in the Israeli League. He also averaged 6.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and an impressive 2.4 steals per game, stuffing the stat sheet in a variety of ways as the most prolific player on the roster. He was a dynamic guard who had success on both ends of the floor in the Israeli League, and it appears that the Nuggets are giving him a tryout for the NBA this summer.
Agada’s agent is Adam Pensack, also the agent for big man Zeke Nnaji on the Denver Nuggets roster. The connection here is unmistakable and also a clear sign that agents trust the Nuggets to give their players good opportunities to shine in a Summer League environment. The Nuggets have had several Summer League success stories in the past few years, most notably Terence Davis and Ian Clark, They signed deals with the Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors respectively after showcasing their abilities on the Nuggets Las Vegas Summer League roster.
It will be interesting to track Agada’s progress with the Nigerian national team in the Olympics before he ultimately arrives in Las Vegas to play with the Nuggets. Whether he has a chance to make Denver’s final NBA roster remains to be seen, but the best place to prove himself, to the Nuggets or another NBA team, is Las Vegas.
This was a pretty solid breakdown video of Agada’s strengths and weaknesses conducted back in May, and I’m sharing it here for Nuggets fans to familiarize themselves with Agada’s game. He’s long, athletic, and dynamic at either guard spot.