Nance: Extension 'literally a dream come true'

Akron native joins Love, Sexton in Cavs core

Alex Hooper
October 16, 2018 - 1:35 pm
Sep 24, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. (22) poses during Cavs Media Day at Cleveland Clinic Courts.

© Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports


Independence, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Larry Nance, Jr., his mother Jaynee and his legendary father Larry Sr. all sat around at the current Cavalier’s home on Monday waiting for word on whether or not Larry Jr. would be in Cleveland even longer.

That news came down just prior to the 6 p.m. deadline to extend players’ contracts, and it could not have been more welcome.

Nance Jr. called his 4-year, $45 million extension ‘literally a dream come true,’ but it may have been more so for his mother.

“We were just talking and got the calls that everything was done. My agent (Mark Bartelstein) and Koby (Altman) had talked everything out,” he said. “I’ve seen my parents happy, but that was pretty awesome. It would have been pretty cool doing that anywhere, but come on now. I keep saying over and over, I’m thrilled to be home. My mom is through the roof ecstatic, I don’t know who was happier, me or her. It was a great day.”

Nance added that he had struggled to sleep in the days leading up to Monday’s deadline.

“Needless to say, I got some good sleep last night,” he joked.

The Cavaliers now have three players who could be under contract through the 2021-2022 season in Nance, All-Star Kevin Love and rookie point guard Collin Sexton.

How Nance fits within that core will need to be ironed out, mostly his fit next to Love. Nance is expected to start at the center alongside Love against the league’s lesser-built bigs, with Tristan Thompson off of the bench. Thompson is slated to take on bigger centers like Andre Drummond of Detroit and Dwight Howard of Washington.

Nance says he is just excited to be seen as the next piece in the puzzle.

“Going forward, we’ve got two guys, a perennial All-Star, and one that right now we’ve still yet to see, but right now, at 19 is pretty good already,” he said. “It’s an honor to be a part of that. It’s an honor that Koby and Dan and everybody thinks highly enough to want to include me to be a part of it.”

The decision to bring back two bigs alongside Sexton may have simply been related to timing, both coming up on expiring deals. Regardless, having an elite pick-and-roll big and another lob target for a rookie point guard should prove useful for Sexton’s development.

The 19-year-old is happy to have Nance in tow.

“It makes me feel good. I’m glad that he’s going to be a part of the organization because he’s a big factor in what we do this season,” Sexton said. “It’s huge, just because they have to play them honest, because they can kill them inside and out. We just continue to go out there and see how they react.

“It allows me to have the court open, be able get my shots. If they mess up on the switches, I’ll be able to pull up or get to the hole, make plays for my teammates.”

Nance averaged 8.9 points and 7.0 rebounds in 24 regular season games with the Cavaliers in 2018, after being traded from the Los Angeles Lakers at the Feb. 8 trade deadline.

The 25-year-old went on to average 4.8 points and 4.5 rebounds over 20 postseason games.