Rumors: Lakers GM Rob Pelinka reassured Larry Nance Jr. he wasn’t trading him, told him to buy a house
Former Los Angeles Lakers big man Larry Nance Jr. is now a member of the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers. While Nance once appeared to be a cornerstone player for the Lakers, the up-and-comer was ultimately traded to the Cavs in a mid-season deal that saw a slew of players head back-and-forth between Cleveland and Los Angeles.
However, such a trade absolutely took Nance by surprise, as the former Lakers power forward was apparently reassured by the Western Conference franchise that he wouldn’t be going anywhere.
According to Bill Oram of The Athletic, Lakers GM Rob Pelinka said he would only get traded for a top-three player. Pelinka even advised Nance to buy a house, as he and his fiancée had planned.
When [Kyle] Kuzma went to Charlotte for All-Star Weekend to participate in the NBA’s Rising Stars Challenge, he sought an audience with [Rob] Pelinka. Kuzma and his people came away from their chat feeling reassured, a source close to the situation told The Athletic. Pelinka told the second-year forward that he was key to the Lakers’ future and that, unless it was a trade for one of the game’s three best players, he wasn’t trading him.
A year earlier, Larry Nance Jr. approached Pelinka with a similar question.
Nance Jr. and his fiancée, his college girlfriend, were interested in buying a house. He wanted to get a sense of whether the Lakers planned on keeping him around, and Pelinka told him that the Lakers would only trade him if it meant landing one of the game’s three best players. He told him to buy the house, multiple sources confirmed.
Before Nance could get that far, however, he received a call on the morning of Feb. 8, 2018. He and Jordan Clarkson had been traded to Cleveland in a salary dump that cleared cap space for the Lakers to be able to offer two max slots in the summer.
Larry Nance Jr. doesn’t seem to hold any grudges towards Rob Pelinka and the Lakers. However, it’s worth noting how the Purple and Gold GM seems to be misleading players.
Sure enough, the Lakers went on to sign former Cavaliers superstar LeBron James. Nonetheless, Los Angeles still missed out on the postseason this 2018-19 campaign.