Larry Nance Jr: The Cleveland Cavaliers — an organization that while I’ve only played for 3½ years, I’ve been a part of for each and every one of my 28. From being in my Dad’s arms as a 2 year old as I watched his jersey get retired at Gund Arena, to TeePeeing Shaq’s house with my family to “Welcome him to the neighborhood” when he came to the Cavs in 2009, and even playing 1-on-1 games with current Cavs GM and friend Koby Altman to get in shape for my high school basketball season, this organization has been a part of every stage of my life.
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Larry Nance Jr: When I got traded here it was the best thing that could’ve happened to both me, and my entire family. I got to play with another pretty decent player from Akron, Ohio and be part of a team that went to the Finals, was fortunate enough to buy a house less than 10 minutes from where I grew up, and the greatest gift of all, my wife and I welcomed our new baby girl into our lives.
Larry Nance Jr: My family and I couldn’t be more thankful to the Cavs organization and the entire Northeast Ohio community. Cleveland will always be home for the Nances, it’s in our blood. “You can take the kid out of Cleveland, but you can’t take Cleveland out of the kid.”
The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired forward Lauri Markkanen (LAU-ree MARK-a-nin) in a sign and trade agreement from Chicago, Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts. In a three-team deal, Cleveland traded forward Larry Nance Jr. to Portland and a protected 2023 second round pick (via Denver) to Chicago. The Bulls also received forward Derrick Jones Jr. from Portland and the Trail Blazers’ lottery protected 2022 first round pick as part of the trade.
Kobi Altman: “I also want to thank Larry for his outstanding and impactful contributions to our team, both on and off the court. His selfless acts of kindness and support for small businesses in Northeast Ohio during a global pandemic says a lot about his character. He remained steadfast in his commitment to helping others in their time of need and it was an inspiration to us all. Larry truly embraced the community, its fans and his teammates and he will be missed. The Cavaliers have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for Larry as a person and a player, and we wish him and his family all the best in Portland.”
“Larry is a talented and versatile player that impacts winning on both ends of the floor,” said Neil Olshey. “We welcome him and his family to Portland and look forward to his contributions on the court and in our community.”
Sources tell cleveland.com that Nance, who turns 29 in January and is better suited for a win-now organization, naturally started wondering about his role and potential playing time. Would it be diminished? Would he need to play the 5? Shift to the 3 in certain lineups? Even though there was a path to make the situation work, the two sides discussed the possibility of moving him to a better situation, one that had more available minutes, a possible starting or closing role and winning potential.
According to sources close to Nance, he wasn’t caught off guard by Friday’s agreed-to deal. He is happy about his fit with the Blazers — and a chance to play with Damian Lillard and buddy CJ McCollum. Portland, which finished sixth in the Western Conference last season and hired Chauncey Billups to replace Terry Stotts, gives Nance a chance to play meaningful games, something he unsurprisingly wants at this stage of his career. If the Blazers implode, or shift into a rebuild, Nance can leave as an unrestricted free agent at the end of 2022-23.
Chris Fedor: Heard one of the many teams that showed interest in Larry Nance Jr. before the Markkanen deal was the San Antonio Spurs. But the only realistic fit was Doug McDermott who can’t be moved for a few months after signing this offseason.
Shams Charania: The Bulls, Cavaliers and Trail Blazers are close on a three-team deal sending Lauri Markkanen to Cleveland, Larry Nance Jr. to Portland and Derrick Jones Jr., a first-round pick and additional draft compensation to Chicago, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Adrian Wojnarowski: ESPN Sources: Cleveland’s acquiring Chicago’s Lauri Markkanen in three-way sign and trade with Portland. Bulls get Derrick Jones Jr., POR’s lottery protected future 1st and Cavs’ future second-rounder. POR gets Larry Nance Jr.
Despite receiving compelling offers for Larry Nance Jr. in the past, the Cavs haven’t gotten the one they believe would make them better. Sources maintain it would take a lot to deal him. Then again, the situation is a bit different than it was ahead of the 2020-21 regular season — or even the trade deadline, when they rebuffed an package that included multiple late first-round picks.
In the past Rosas has shown interest in P.J. Tucker, who won a title in Milwaukee and will be a free agent, and Larry Nance Jr., who is widely believed to be available in Cleveland. John Collins appears to be unlikely at this point, but Danilo Gallinari could be an option with Atlanta possibly needing to unload some salary to make room to retain Collins.
The Cleveland Cavaliers spent the last few months telling interested teams Larry Nance Jr. wasn’t available in a trade. That didn’t stop the calls from coming. The first two post-deadline games spotlight why. Why playoff contenders — New Orleans, Miami, Dallas, Boston and Philadelphia — were desperately trying to pry him away. Why the Cavs were determined to keep him, turning down at least one offer with multiple late first-round picks. Why the organization considers him a core piece despite being a 28-year-old part-time starter (coming off the bench when Kevin Love is healthy) on a kid-friendly roster.
In addition to Drummond, sources said Cleveland has held numerous conversations on JaVale McGee, Larry Nance Jr. and Cedi Osman. With Nance, the Cavaliers’ asking price appears high. The front office is seeking at least a first-round pick for a player whose father once starred for the franchise and who has been a staple of the team in its transition past the LeBron James era.
Unless something drastically changes over the next three weeks or Cleveland gets completely blown away by an offer it can’t refuse, don’t expect any of those five to go anywhere — even though calls keep coming and strong offers have been made for Nance, including one package with multiple late first-round picks, sources tell cleveland.com.
Nance would help a lot of teams and he’s on a multi-year bargain deal that makes it easy to come up with matching salaries. He’s the kind of versatile piece that contenders covet because of his defense, playmaking, shooting and impact on winning. According to sources, Nance is the player the Cavs have received the most calls about. Sources say the Minnesota Timberwolves have been aggressively pursuing him since the offseason. Nance’s old teammate and buddy D’Angelo Russell is a strong Nance advocate. Boston, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Miami and Dallas have also shown interest.
Larry Nance Jr: Over my dead body
Spencer Dinwiddie: Lol you ain’t got any control over that bro. It’s a compliment
For Larry Nance Jr., an Akron native, that career-changing phone call with Cleveland Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman on Thursday afternoon led to an outpouring of emotions. “How cool is it for him to come home? The kid was in borderline tears when I called him today,” Altman said during a conference call to recap his watershed moment as GM. “He’s ecstatic to be a part of it.”
Chris Fedor: #Cavs Koby Altman said Larry Nance Jr. was in borderline tears when he got the news earlier today, so excited to come to Cleveland.
Bill Oram: Larry Nance Jr. will wear No. 24 for the @Cavs. No. 7 (his Lakers number) is retired for Bingo Smith and he opted against bringing his dad’s No. 22 out of retirement.
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ wild trade deadline began with a Los Angeles Lakers deal, acquiring guard Jordan Clarkson and forward Larry Nance Jr. in exchange for guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Channing Frye and Cleveland’s own 2018 protected first-round pick, which goes to the Lakers unless it falls between 1-3. “Jordan and Larry add athleticism, energy and length to both ends of the court for us,” general manager Koby Altman said in a release announcing the deal. “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.”
Larry Nance Jr: I’ll be forever grateful for everything that the @lakers organization, the fans, and my teammates have done for me! It’s been an unbelievable experience and I couldn’t be happier with where I started this journey! Thank you guys for the past 2 1/2 years! On to THE LAND I go.. #JustAKidFromAkron
Erik Gundersen: Cavs just made the Jordan Clarkson-Larry Nance Jr trade official.
Tania Ganguli: On side note, it has been a pleasure to cover @Larry Nance Jr and @Jordan Clarkson. Very different guys, but both good people who were very helpful for the job a reporter does.
The Cavaliers will now see their luxury tax bill reduced from $43.1M to $40.8M, a savings of $2.3M. The Jordan Clarkson cap hit is $11.5M, $12.5M and $13.4M. Larry Nance Jr. is under contract for $1.5M and $2.3M. The Cavaliers now have $135M in guaranteed salaries next season, including the $35.6M LeBron James and $11M Iman Shumpert player option.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Nance said yesterday he was going to dinner w/ fiancé and not stress: “Whether I’m in the gym all night or whether I’m on my knees begging + pleading not to get traded, whether if I was begging to get traded, what is going to happen is going to happen” espn.com/nba/story/_/id…
Ivica Zubac: 😢😢😢
Adrian Wojnarowski: Lakers sending Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance to the Cavaliers, league source tells ESPN.
Kevin O’Connor: Lakers are using Larry Nance as a sweetener in deals involving Jordan Clarkson, league sources say. It’s unclear which teams have interest, if any. Clarkson is signed through 2019-20 and teams are reluctant to take on pricey long-term contracts.
Larry Nance Jr. on trade rumors: “I was a little bit surprised [by the rumors], but at the end of the day, it’s a business. If something like that were to happen, if I were to get traded to a different team, it would be a team that would value me. I try to look at it like that, just as an opportunity, if that were to happen. Obviously, I’d love to stay in L.A. But if it happens, there’s nothing that I can do about it, but it would be a new opportunity and hopefully one that I can seize and make the best of.”
Has anyone from the front office talked to Larry Nance Jr. about the rumors: “No. And somebody from the front office doesn’t need to come explain what’s going on to me. It’s trade-deadline time. Even if I was averaging 40 points, they’d still be talking like, ‘Oh, he might get traded for so-and-so.’ I mean, they’re talking about possible trades for Anthony Davis and Kawhi [Leonard]! So, come on, _everyone_ can get brought up and talked about. We’re professionals, and it’s our job to just deal with it. I come in every day and do my job, regardless of what’s going on.”
Sources close to the situation caution that the Lakers would rather not trade Nance, Jr., but in order to move off the contract money they are trying to shed, it will take inducement, and Nance seems to be that. The Lakers have thoroughly explored ways to trade forward Luol Deng and have found almost no interest in a deal that wouldn’t include mortgaging their future first round picks, which is something the Lakers do not seem open to doing.
The Lakers have made it clear that Clarkson, Julius Randle and Larry Nance are available. Los Angeles has given up hope of unloading Luol Deng’s contract in a trade, because it would simply necessitate attaching too many draft assets.
Indeed, it looks like there will be a good deal of time. That’s because the Lakers are not moving any of the three, even as we enter the silly season of NBA trade discussions. According to league sources, the Lakers have not included any of the three into trade discussions, and do not figure to change that. They’re unlikely to consider moves involving their two other young role players, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr., who figure to be key parts of the rotation in the near future.
Unless some significant move comes to the Lakers’ doorstep, you’d think any young piece wouldn’t be on the move come Thursday. Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell and Larry Nance Jr. shouldn’t be considered “untouchable,” but the Lakers likely won’t be breaking up their young core.
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September 26, 2021 | 6:15 am EDT Update
“The NBA should insist that all players and staff are vaccinated or remove them from the team,” NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tells Rolling Stone. “There is no room for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their teammates, the staff and the fans simply because they are unable to grasp the seriousness of the situation or do the necessary research. What I find especially disingenuous about the vaccine deniers is their arrogance at disbelieving immunology and other medical experts. Yet, if their child was sick or they themselves needed emergency medical treatment, how quickly would they do exactly what those same experts told them to do?”
Irving, who serves as a vice president on the executive committee of the players’ union, recently started following and liking Instagram posts from a conspiracy theorist who claims that “secret societies” are implanting vaccines in a plot to connect Black people to a master computer for “a plan of Satan.” This Moderna microchip misinformation campaign has spread across multiple NBA locker rooms and group chats, according to several of the dozen-plus current players, Hall-of-Famers, league executives, arena workers and virologists interviewed for this story over the past week.
When asked directly about Irving’s vaccination status — or his plans to change it — multiple people familiar with his thinking declined to answer directly. But one confidant and family member floated to Rolling Stone the idea of anti-vaxx players skipping home games to dodge the New York City ordinance… or at least threatening to protest them, until the NBA changes its ways.
“There are so many other players outside of him who are opting out, I would like to think they would make a way,” says Kyrie’s aunt, Tyki Irving, who runs the seven-time All-Star’s family foundation and is one of the few people in his regular circle of advisors. “It could be like every third game. So it still gives you a full season of being interactive and being on the court, but with the limitations that they’re, of course, oppressing upon you. There can be some sort of formula where the NBA and the players can come to some sort of agreement.”
A spokeswoman for Irving declined to respond to a list of questions regarding his vaccination and playing status, and Irving did not immediately respond to a message from Rolling Stone. But as teams return to pre-season training camps next week, fifty to sixty NBA players have yet to receive a single vaccine dose, league sources tell RS. Most are considered merely reluctant skeptics. Some of the holdouts, however, amount to their own shadow roster of anti-vaxxers mounting a behind-the-scenes resistance to Covid protocols — and the truth.
Isaac considers un-vaxxed players to be vilified and bullied, and he thinks “it’s an injustice” to automatically make heroes out of vaccinated celebrities. He rejects the NBA’s proposal for a vaccine mandate and social distancing for players like him during team travel: “You can play on the same court. We can touch the same ball. We can bump chests. We can do all those things on the court. And then when it comes to being on the bus, we have to be in different parts of the bus? To me, it doesn’t seem logically consistent. “If you are vaccinated, in other places you still have to wear the mask regardless. It’s like, ‘OK, then what is the mask necessarily for?’” Isaac continues. “And if Kyrie says that from his position of his executive power in the NBPA, then kudos to him.”
Enes Kanter — the veteran center, devout Muslim and outspoken liberal — senses a creep of the religious right upon his workplace, which just happens to involve players like Isaac sweating all over him and yelling in his face: “If a guy’s not getting vaccinated because of his religion, I feel like we are in a time where the religion and science has to go to together,” he tells RS. “I’ve talked to a lot of religious guys — I’m like: ‘It saves people’s lives, so what is more important than that?’”