The Cleveland Cavaliers have drafted Evan Mobley in the 2021 NBA Draft with the No. 3 overall pick and re-signed Jarrett Allen. While they do have a lot of solid talent for the frontcourt, they have traded Taurean Prince to the Timberwolves in exchange for Ricky Rubio, which now leaves them with a hole at the wing position.
It looks as though the Cleveland Cavaliers could potentially trade Larry Nance Jr. in order to acquire that wing player that they need. Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com detailed how a Nance Jr. trade is the easiest way to fix their wing position.
But there’s another simple -- and yet incredibly complicated -- one that opposing teams have coveted for the last year-plus: Larry Nance Jr.
A team leader, fan favorite, versatile defender and culture piece, Nance’s value extends far beyond the box score. Despite receiving compelling offers for him 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.
Suddenly, moving Nance could be viewed as trading from a position of strength (power forward) to address an obvious weakness (wing).
Nance, a starter-quality forward, deserves about 28-30 minutes per night. Can the Cavs provide that? They also have Dean Wade and Lamar Stevens, both viewed as better options at the 4 as opposed to 3.
Coming off an injury-wrecked season last year, depth is a great problem to have. But trading Nance would not only declutter that spot, especially if the team can no longer offer the role he deserves, it would be the most logical path to fix that problematic wing spot. Painful and perilous for a multitude of reasons, it’s something the Cavs must consider.
There is no doubt that many teams could use a big man like Nance, one that can guard multiple positions, and be an active rebounder. There's no doubt that contenders could use him for his defense, and Fedor mentions that Nance has received interest from other teams in the past.
We'll see whether or not Nance stays in Cleveland, but it looks as though trading him could be a solution for filling a roster need. It certainly seems as if the Cavaliers will only accept a legitimately good offer for Nance though, and perhaps there's a team out there that's willing to give up what it takes