After the Cleveland Cavaliers facing the Detroit Pistons at Michigan State University in their preseason finale, Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz caught up with Cavs center Larry Nance Jr. and discussed the possibility that Nance Jr. and Cleveland can come to an agreement on a contract extension prior to the October 15th deadline.
According to Swartz, Nance Jr. says “it’s more so just my agent and [Cavs general manager] Koby [Altman]. I’m talking to my agent and every day…Everybody knows I love Cleveland. I think the whole world knows that.”
Per a Larry Nance Jr. extension with Cavs, Nance tells B/R: "It's more so just my agent and Koby. I'm talking to my agent every day. Both sides are presenting numbers and going back and forth. I hope so. Everybody knows I love Cleveland. I think the whole world knows that."
— Greg Swartz (@GregSwartzBR) October 13, 2018
Nance Jr. is a legacy player in Cleveland.
His father, Larry Nance, starred for the Wine and Gold from the 1987-88 season to the 1993-94 season and the Cavaliers reached the playoffs five times with him on the team. They lost to Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls in the playoffs four times and had three first-round exits (two to the Bulls) but they were a fun and successful team that had some of the top players in the NBA in Nance, Brad Daugherty and Mark Price.
In fact, those three could be seen as the franchise’s first “Big 3” in team history.
That said, when Cleveland acquired Nance Jr. in a trade deadline deal last season, it was a bit of a homecoming for the 25-year-old big man. Ironically, he had just paid homage to his father, a Slam Dunk Champion in 1984, by throwing down a spectacular dunk in the 2018 Slam Dunk Contest with his father’s jersey number on.
A native of Akron, Ohio who attended Revere High School in Richfield, where the Cavaliers’ second arena (the Richfield Coliseum) was built and destroyed, he’s intimately tied to Northeast Ohio. When his father gave his son to wear his retired number 22 jersey, it was as if Nance Jr. had become a legend in Cleveland himself.
There’s no reason for Nance, a part-time starter for the Cavaliers, to want to leave the team unless he’s searching for a role on a championship-contender or wants more money than Cleveland is willing to offer.
A springy, versatile big man with a penchant for making defensive plays, Nance is certainly valuable to the team for more than the sentimental draw that will bring Clevelanders to the arena. That said, a “naive” Nance says that when it comes to signing an extension, “it’s all about feeling value.”
On if Nance has a $ amount in mind: "I'm so naive in terms of what guys get, what guys are asking for and what guys are worth. I was always taught to never count another man's money. You see it. I try not to put too much weight on it. It's all about feeling value."
— Greg Swartz (@CavsGregBR) October 13, 2018
Nance Jr. could be, and should be, in Cleveland for the foreseeable future.
However, if the two sides can’t come to an agreement by Monday, Nance Jr. will be a restricted free agent next summer.