There was a three-team deal between the Portland Trail Blazers, Chicago Bulls, and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday. Portland acquired Larry Nance Jr., Chicago got Derrick Jones Jr., and the Cavaliers acquired Lauri Markkanen.
Nance is the type of high-end role player the Blazers need. For a team that ranked 29th in the league last season in defensive rating (115.3), adding a defensive-minded player in Nance will undoubtedly help boost the Blazers on that end of the floor. With a 7-foot wingspan, Nance will cause havoc on defense for Portland. In addition, Nance is a versatile forward that can defend and grab rebounds. He is also an athletic player that can run the floor and finish at the rim.
Nance is not known for his shooting, but he has shot 36% the last three years on catch and shoot threes. The former Los Angeles Laker is also a good screener who could play pick and roll basketball with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
Larry Nance Jr. can come off the bench, and he could start if any starters are out with injuries. Nance may not be an all-world signing, but he will help the Blazers on the defensive end of the floor. The forward can play both forward positions and can score inside and outside. One of the underrated parts of Nance’s game is his ability to initiate the offense from the elbow area. As a result, he will be able to create offense for his teammates for the elbow area.
Last season Nance averaged 9.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game for the Cavaliers. He shot 47% from the field and 36% from beyond the arc. Nance will be entering his seven seasons in the NBA; the Los Angeles Lakers drafted him in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft. In six seasons, Nance has averaged 8.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
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