Larry Nance Jr. was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers this week in a three-way deal that sent Lauri Markkanen to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Derrick Jones Jr. to the Chicago Bulls.
The Bulls also received a protected first-rounder from Portland a future second-rounder from Cleveland.
Nance is a hard-working player who could immediately be plugged into the Blazers’ rotation, but he also isn’t the type of addition who’ll like make Damian Lillard any less upset about his team’s ‘failed’ free agency run up to this point.
Following the trade details going public, Nance got brutally honest about everything that had transpired.
“This trade was absolutely a collaboration,” he said, via Cleveland.com. “I had expressed my desire to win now to Koby and the front office if we could find a deal that helped everyone, and they certainly did that.
“Going to Portland is something that I am extremely excited about. This is a team that has seen the biggest stages and is hungry for more, and I’m thrilled that they believe I can help them climb higher. This opportunity is one that I’m very ready to take advantage of and I have the Cavs to thank for preparing me for it.”
Now we know why Stephen Curry is so angry. https://t.co/cUbFNo1jRF
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 29, 2021
Nance is great on the glass, a versatile defender, and can collect some scraps offensively. He’ll definitely help a Blazers group that ranked 29th in the NBA last season in defensive rating. That said, how much of a difference-maker will he truly be? That remains to be seen.
Lillard made it very clear the type of players he wanted the front office to acquire sooner rather than later. Does Nance fit the bill? Time will tell.