Larry Nance Jr is a four year NBA veteran out of the University of Wyoming. He was taken 27th overall in the 2015 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. During his first couple of years with the Lakers, he had the opportunity to play with Kobe Bryant during his final two years in the NBA. Nance also had the chance to play with LeBron James this past season as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers acquired Larry Nance Jr along with Jordan Clarkson from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and Cleveland’s own 2018 protected first round pick (protected 1-3).
“Jordan and Larry add athleticism, energy, and length to both ends of the court for us. This trade is also a reflection of our continuing commitment to invest in our roster in ways that help us evolve and compete at the highest level now and into the future,” said Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman.
“Channing Frye is a champion, true pro and great person. He has been part of a special group of teammates on and off the court for us, as his impacts were both tangible and intangible. It is difficult to see him go and we wish Channing and his family the very best. IT has had a difficult and very challenging basketball journey over the last year as he has worked extremely hard to make progress in his return to play. He is a true competitor, and that will certainly help him in his continued work on the court.”
The Cavaliers would go on to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals for the fourth straight season but fall short to the Golden State Warriors in four games. The trade for Clarkson and Nance Jr would later clear cap space for the Los Angeles Lakers to sign LeBron James in the offseason.
Recently, the Cavaliers were in Dallas to take the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. Before Cavs shootaround practice I spoke with Nance Jr about being one of a few players to play with both Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. I asked him could he breakdown both players preparation.
“I think J.C. (Jordan Clarkson) would be a better guy to ask because I was only got to see last year Kobe and I don’t really think that’s fair to him to try to compare him to someone in their prime. But, I got to see more of the mental preparation and aspect of Kobe, and it was tireless. You could ask him about any guy on the scouting report, and he could tell you their favorite move and what they can’t do. He Knew everything about every single person,“ Nance Jr told me.
He would continue:
“The way he thought the game in terms of being in the game. When came to a timeout, he would say hey we ran this play last time and I saw this read. Let’s run it and get this look and everything else will open up for us. So, just the way he dissected in games or even before we got to the game is pretty incredible.“
“Whereas LeBron James, I got to play with him in his prime. He was the first one in the gym and last one out. It did not matter if you were the 17th guy on the roster, he was going to beat you to the gym. So, I just think seeing that from both of those guys is something that I have tried to implement into my own career. If the best players in the world can do it then I certainly should be able to put the work in and do it as well.“
Per Basketball-Reference Nance is currently averaging 9.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, and three assists per game. As for the game against the Mavericks, the Mavs beat the Cavs 121-116.