It would seem that the Cleveland Cavaliers are working hard in the ongoing offseason to keep their key players in place following LeBron James’ exit to the Los Angeles Lakers. With standout big man Kevin Love having recently signed a lucrative four-year, $120 million contract extension with the team, the Cavs are reportedly working on a new deal for backup power forward Larry Nance Jr., according to a tweet from Yahoo Sports‘ Jordan Schultz.
On Thursday, Schultz tweeted that the Cavaliers are having “ongoing discussions” with Nance’s agents, as the team “really likes him” and wants to sign him to a longer-term, possibly higher-paying deal. The 25-year-old Nance, who was acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers midway through the 2017-18 NBA season, is currently on a contract that will pay him less than $2.3 million in the upcoming season, Schultz added.
As noted by Bleacher Report, Larry Nance Jr. turned out to be a “solid” role player for the Cleveland Cavaliers after he and Jordan Clarkson came over from the Lakers in a trade that sent veterans Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye to Los Angeles. Playing in his third NBA season, Nance mostly posted career-high numbers as he split time for both the Lakers and the Cavs, averaging a combined 8.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game as a reliable source of defense, rebounding, and high-energy play off the bench. For the 2018-19 season, he is expected to be one of the Cavaliers’ top frontcourt reserves as he continues backing up Kevin Love at power forward and Tristan Thompson at center.
According to SBNation‘s Cavs-centric blog Fear the Sword, Nance showed steady improvement after joining Cleveland at the 2017-18 trade deadline. Aside from enjoying a slight increase in his scoring and rebounding numbers, the 6-foot-9 former University of Wyoming forward and second-generation NBA star shot an impressive 54.5 percent when shooting between 10 to 16 feet away from the hoop. This was more than twice his 26.9 percent clip from that distance as a Laker.
The news of Larry Nance Jr. and the Cleveland Cavaliers working on a potential contract extension came shortly after the team was reported to have potentially strengthened their backcourt by adding a defensive-minded free agent. Incoming third-year guard David Nwaba, who averaged 7.9 points and 4.7 rebounds for the Chicago Bulls last season, reportedly came to terms with the Cavs, with both sides working on the “final details” of the deal as of Wednesday, according to Yahoo Sports‘ Shams Charania.