The Cleveland Cavaliers will be heading in the 2018 NBA offseason with the goal of convincing LeBron James to opt into the final year of his contract or sign a long-term deal with the team. However, the latest report revealed that the Cavaliers are also making offseason plans for Larry Nance Jr. and Rodney Hood, two of the players they acquired before the February 8 trade deadline.
Larry Nance Jr. is entering the final year of the rookie contract he signed in 2015. On July 1, the Cavaliers will be allowed to negotiate with Nance Jr. about a possible contract extension. According to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, Nance Jr. and the Cavaliers have tons of mutual interest regarding a contract extension, and Cleveland reportedly sees the 25-year-old power forward as a player who can continue the team’s legacy.
“Multiple league sources told cleveland.com there is “a ton” of interest on both sides to discuss an extension for Nance, who is 25 and is the son of former Cavs great Larry Nance Sr. The son grew up here, went to Revere High School, and the Cavs traded a No. 1 pick to acquire him and Jordan Clarkson. The Cavs have expressed to Nance that they view him as a foundational piece, sources said.”
Larry Nance Jr. has managed to leave a good impression since joining the Cavaliers in February. In 24 regular season games as a Cavalier, he averaged 8.6 points and 6.8 rebounds on 60.1 percent shooting from the field. However, as Vardon noted, the Cavaliers are not in a hurry to give Nance Jr. a contract extension since they want to know first if LeBron James will stay in Cleveland or not in the upcoming free agency.
Meanwhile, after failing to make himself fit in LeBron’s squad, Rodney Hood’s future in Cleveland remains uncertain. His numbers have shown a significant drop in his first 21 regular season games in Cleveland, and he’s almost nonexistent in the playoffs. Most NBA insider believes Hood’s struggle in the postseason affects his value, making it less likely for him to receive a huge offer this offseason.
On June 29, the Cavaliers could give Hood a qualifying offer that could make him a restricted free agent. If Cleveland wants him back to the team, the only thing they need to do is to match the offer sheet from other NBA teams. Vardon revealed that some people in the Cavaliers organization like Hood, but there is no assurance that the team still wants him to be part of their long-term plan.