Official: Pelicans extend Larry Nance Jr.

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed forward Larry Nance Jr. to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced Monday.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a two-year, $21.6 million contract extension, and Nance’s total deal ties him to the franchise for three years and $31.3 million.

Nance Jr. was acquired by New Orleans in a mid-season trade with the Portland Trail Blazers and appeared in 46 games (11 starts) during the 2021-22 season, averaging 7.0 points and 5.4 rebounds in 22.6 minutes per game.

The 6-7 forward gave the Pels a spark in the playoffs against the Suns and gave the team some solid minutes. The 29-year-old averaged 9.2 points and 5.8 rebounds in 21.7 minutes per contest in the playoffs.

Drafted 27th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2015 NBA Draft, the seven-year veteran has appeared in 396 games (134 starts) with the L.A. Lakers, Cleveland, Portland, and New Orleans.

Nance Jr. is a great role player, a tremendous defender, and gives New Orleans great depth in their frontcourt.

Poor shooting, turnovers hurt the Cavs as they fall to Los Angeles

The Cleveland Cavaliers(17-28) had the first half they desired on Friday night against the Los Angeles Lakers(29-17). They played good defense, holding the Lakers to 44 points, and they shared the ball, 15 assists on 20 field goals. Cleveland led by seven points at halftime, but the second half was a much different story especially the third quarter.

In that third quarter, Cleveland shot 14% from the field, including 0/9 from three-point range, and scored only 10 points. Conversely, the Lakers shot 57% from the field and outscored Cleveland by 18 points in the quarter. Ultimately, Los Angeles would outscore Cleveland by 21 points in the second half and defeat the Cavaliers 100-86 at Staples Center.

The Lakers, who snapped their four-game losing streak on Friday night, were without LeBron James(ankle) and Anthony Davis(calf), but Montrezl Harrell stepped up and had a game-high 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Cleveland, who was without their leading scorer, Collin Sexton(hamstring), was led by Larry Nance Jr., who had 17 points and 10 rebounds.

The third quarter killed the Cavaliers, but according to their head coach J.B. Bickerstaff, the team got good looks. However, they could not make shots.

“We missed shots,” Bickerstaff said. “I thought we did a good job of moving the ball. You go back in look at how we created shots for one another; we just didn’t make them.” 

Nance Jr. added: “We got good looks; we took good shots. We just didn’t make them.”

Cleveland also finished the game with 21 turnovers, which led to 21 points for the Lakers. 

“We turned it over too much in the first half,” Bickerstaff said. “But in the second half, we turned it over more at the top of the floor, which gave them opportunities to get out in transition. We just have to be more sure with the ball.”

Tough loss for the Cavs when you consider the start they had, but it’s challenging to win the NBA when you don’t make shots and turn the ball over at a high rate.

Cleveland gets back at it on Saturday night against the Sacramento Kings, who beat the Cavaliers 119-105 last Monday night in Cleveland. The Cavaliers finish their four-game road trip on Monday in Utah against the Jazz.

Notes:

On Friday, the Cavs announced that they have agreed on a buyout with Andre Drummond, who now will become a free agent. Drummond has not played since February 12 after he and the team agreed to have him sit until they can either trade or buy out the two-tIme All-Star.

The 27-year-old Drummond was acquired by the Cavaliers in a trade with Detroit last season on February 6, 2020. In 33 games (all starts) with Cleveland, he averaged 17.5 points, 12.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.2 blocks in 28.7 minutes per contest. 

Cavs’ Nance Jr.: ‘You’re not going to break us apart’

After winning four of five games before the All-Star break, it appeared that the Cleveland Cavaliers(14-25) had found their groove following their 10-game losing streak. However, since they have come back from the All-Star break, it has been a struggle for the Cavaliers.

On Tuesday night, Cleveland lost their third straight game after the break and their fourth overall as they fell to the Heat(22-18) on the road 113-98.

Miami had six players in double figures, including Jimmy Butler, who had a game-high 28 points. Collin Sexton led the Cavs with 21 points. Also, JaVale McGee chipped in 16 points off the bench for the Cavaliers.

Cleveland has been down by 20-plus in each of their last three games following the All-star break, so this team is really floundering. Larry Nance Jr., who scored 14 points on Monday night, is frustrated, but he believes the team must continue to fight through this rough patch.

“We just got a little adversity that we have to fight through,” Nance Jr. said after the game. “J.B.’s(Bickerstadd) frustrated, I’m frustrated; we all are, but one thing we just can’t do is quit on one another. We still believe it’s a very talented bunch.”

Despite the struggles, Nance Jr. thinks the team is staying together. 

“You’re not going to break us apart,” he said. “We got really good leadership on this team.”

Cleveland will begin a four-game homestand on Wednesday night against the Celtics, so maybe a little home cooking will help this team get back on track. However, with the lack of practice time due to the current NBA schedule, young teams like the Cavs will have to figure things out on the court, which makes turning things around very difficult.

Notes:

Cleveland was again without Kevin Love, who is still battling a calf injury. 

Nance Jr. to miss six weeks with fractured finger

For the past few weeks, Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. has been in and out of the lineup due to a wrist injury. On Saturday night, Nance suffered another injury in the team’s 124-99 loss to Milwaukee Bucks that will keep him out for some time.

The eight-year veteran is expected to miss approximately six weeks after sustaining a fracture in his left fourth metacarpal(finger), the team announced today. 

According to the Cavs, Nance was examined last night at the arena, and imaging performed this morning at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health confirmed the injury. Nance will now undergo a series of treatment and rehabilitation activities, and his status will be updated as appropriate.

This is a big blow for Cavs. Nance is averaging 9.3 points and 6.8 rebounds a game this season and is also second in the league in steals at 1.9 steals per game. The Cavaliers, who are on a three-game losing streak, are about to embark on a five-game west coast road trip, which starts on Monday against the Suns. 

Nance Jr. on Okoro: ‘He’s a winner’

The Cleveland Cavaliers were down another man on Thursday night on the road against the Memphis Grizzlies, and this time, it was their leading scorer. Collin Sexton, who is averaging 25.1 PPG this season, was out against the Grizzlies due to a sprained ankle. 

However, it’s next man up in Cleveland, and the men up stepped up in a big way for the Cavs. Andre Drummond got his usual double-double(ninth-straight) with 22 points and 10 rebounds, Larry Nance was 7-7 from the field and finished with 18 points, and Cedi Osman chipped in with 16 points as the Cavaliers(5-4) defeated the Grizzlies 94-90. 

Cleveland was missing seven players, including Sexton, Kevin Love, and Darius Garland(second-leading scorer). With all that firepower out, Drummond knew the Cavaliers had to grind it out to get the victory.

“We just kept fighting,” Drummond said. “We knew this was going to be an ugly game. We knew it was going to be a real sloppy one due to some guys being in positions they haven’t been in before. We had fun, and we grinded the game out, and it was a great win for us.”

Late in the game, with the Cavaliers up 91-90, rookie Isaac Okoro made two of the game’s biggest plays. Okoro made a beautiful chase-down block on Tyus Jones, and then he made a beautiful backdoor cut for a dunk to put the Cavs up by three. Okoro finished with eight points and two blocks.

“If it wasn’t the middle of January, early January,” Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “We be talking about that block for a long, long time. It was phenomenal.”

Nance Jr. added about Okoro: “He’s a winner,” Nance Jr. said about Okoro. “The things he does on the court are things you can’t teach. I don’t know whoever taught him how to play basketball, where he learned how to play basketball, but he learned the right way.” 

The Cavaliers have had some nice wins this season, including victories over the Hawks and 76ers, but when you consider all the injuries and had depleted this team was on Thursday night, Cleveland’s win against Memphis was their best win of the season. Now, it’s off to Milwaukee to finish off their six-game road trip against the Bucks.

Cavs’ Lance Nance Jr. out 2-4 weeks with MCL sprain

Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. is currently projected to miss 2-4 weeks with a right knee MCL sprain. Nance was injured in Tuesday night’s game at Quicken Loans Arena against the Indiana Pacers in the first quarter and did not return to action. Additional evaluation and an MRI today confirmed the sprain. He will now undergo a period of treatment and rehabilitation.

Nance, 26, is averaging 8.8 PPG, 7.5RPG, 3.2 APG in 39 games with the Cavaliers this season.

Larry Nance Jr.: ‘I’m extremely happy to be a Cavalier’

The Cleveland Cavaliers and forward Larry Nance Jr. have signed a new multi-year contract extension, Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman announced today.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a four-year, $45M extension.

“We are extremely excited to have Larry in a Cavaliers uniform long-term,” said Altman. “His athleticism is off the charts and his positive attitude, work ethic and most importantly, his desire to be in Cleveland embodies all that we want out of our players both on and off the court. We look forward to watching his continued development and feel strongly that Larry can be a special player in this league for many years to come.”

“I’m actually at a loss for words right now,” said Nance. “To continue playing basketball for a franchise I grew up with and watched as my father starred here is truly a blessing. I’m extremely happy to be a Cavalier and I can now begin to establish my own long-term legacy in this community. I want to thank Dan, Koby and our coaching staff for believing in me and my potential. This is truly a dream come true.”

Nance (6-9, 230) was originally acquired by the Cavaliers through a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 8, 2018. In 24 games (nine starts) with Cleveland last season, he averaged 8.9 points on .550 shooting, 7.0 rebounds and 1.21 steals in 20.8 minutes per contest. He played in 42 games (17 starts) for the Lakers, averaging 8.6 points on .601 shooting, 6.8 rebounds and 1.40 steals in 22.0 minutes per game. On the season, Nance averaged career highs of 8.7 points on .581 shooting, 6.8 rebounds and 1.33 steals in 21.5 minutes per game over 66 games (26 starts).

The 6-9 forward recorded 11 double-doubles in 2017-18, including five as a member of the Cavs. He posted consecutive double-digit scoring outings in a career-high seven games from Feb. 27-March 11. In his first start with the Cavs on March 5, Nance set career highs in points, rebounds and field goals made, finishing with 22 points on 9-15 (.600) shooting and 15 rebounds in 32 minutes versus Detroit. Along with his father, Larry Nance Sr., who had 149 20-point outings as a member of the Cavaliers from 1988-1994, the Nances became just the fifth father-son duo to score at least 20 points in a game for the same franchise, joining Rick and Jon Barry (Houston Rockets), Doc and Austin Rivers (Los Angeles Clippers), Ernie and Kiki Vandeweghe (New York Knicks) and Gerald Henderson Jr. and Sr. (Philadelphia 76ers). Nance participated in the Verizon Slam Dunk Contest at 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend, where he finished in second place.

The Akron, Ohio native was originally selected by the Lakers with the 27th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft after playing four years collegiately at the University of Wyoming. He owns career averages of 7.1 points on .547 shooting from the field, 5.9 rebounds and 1.17 steals in 21.5 minutes per game in 192 career contests (55 starts) over three seasons with Los Angeles and Cleveland.