Larry Nance Jr.’s trade to the Portland Trail Blazers came as a shock to everyone, especially since he is a fan-favorite who has actually loved his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Apparently, though, the big man asked for the trade.
In a message he shared to Cleveland.com, Nance revealed that his trade was a “collaboration” and not simply something that came out of nowhere. He wanted to help the Cavs while being part of a winning team, and so a trade was the solution they ended up with.
“This trade was absolutely a collaboration. I had expressed my desire to win now to Koby and the front office if we could find a deal that helped everyone, and they certainly did that,” Nance shared. “Going to Portland is something that I am extremely excited about. This is a team that has seen the biggest stages and is hungry for more, and I’m thrilled that they believe I can help them climb higher. This opportunity is one that I’m very ready to take advantage of and I have the Cavs to thank for preparing me for it.”
To recall, the Cavs made the move to acquire Lauri Markkanen in a three-team sign-and-trade deal. In return, Larry Nance Jr. was sent to the Blazers, while Portland gave Derrick Jones Jr. to the Chicago Bulls.
While some might argue that Cleveland should have prioritized moving Kevin Love and adding depth to their backcourt, it now makes more sense why they pulled the trigger on the Markkanen deal.
Going to Portland could prove to be a beneficial move for Nance as well, especially since the team needs more frontcourt depth after the departure of Enes Kanter and considering the injury history of Jusuf Nurkic. With that said, he could very well find a meaningful role just like what he had in Cleveland for the past three years,