Monday was the deadline for NBA to sign 2015 first-round picks to contract extensions and the Cleveland Cavaliers got it done with little more than an hour left.
The team and forward Larry Nance Jr. reached an agreement to a four-year, $44.8 million dollar contract extension according to Yahoo Sports. This will keep Nance Jr. in Cleveland through the 2022-2023 season.
The 25-year-old Akron native was acquired by Cleveland back in February at the trade deadline from the Los Angeles Lakers along with guard Jordan Clarkson for Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and a first-round pick.
In 24 games (ten starts), Nance averaged 8.9 points and 7 rebounds per game in 20 minutes per game. During the postseason, he played in 20 games averaging 4.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in 15 minutes per game.
He also wore the number 22 jersey that was retired and made famous in Cleveland by his father, Larry Sr. and will continue to wear it this season.
The Cavaliers see Nance as part of the young core they’re forming with rookie Collin Sexton, Jordan Clarkson, Rodney Hood, Cedi Osman, and Ante Zizic.
He’ll miss the start of the season due to a sprained ankle he suffered last week but once he returns, he’ll likely split starting center duties with Tristan Thompson as the Cavs will play a smaller, more athletic lineup as they insert an uptempo system.
To get Nance for the extension value the Cavs got him for in today’s NBA where contracts have been outrageous in terms of dollars, it’s a steal and also a good deal for both sides.
If Nance can play up to his worth and potentially exceed it, he’ll go back on the market again when he’s 30 with a chance to make another big contract.
For Cleveland, it still maintains flexibility should they choose to be free agent players next summer once they dump off some of the veterans’ contracts such as J.R. Smith, George Hill and Kyle Korver who all have non-guaranteed salaries for the 2019-20 season.