Larry Nance Jr. asked for a trade from the Cavs.
Larry Nance Jr.’s time in Cleveland will be remembered for being far more brief and far less successful than his father’s. A beloved player by the community, Nance reaped the rewards of his father’s success in the organization 30 years prior. Born in Ohio, Nance Jr. felt like the kind of player the team needed. He is called a glue-guy, someone who can do everything well, but maybe not one thing truly great. Yet, during his time in Cleveland, he became the team’s best defensive player when healthy and was even a distributor on offense.
His time in Cleveland came to an end when Nance, in his own words, requested a trade.
Cleveland.com gave Nance Jr. a chance to say his own goodbyes, with the help of Chris Fedor. In a letter to the city, Nance openly admits to being the one who wanted to be traded.
"Unfortunately for me, I was the old man of the bunch with a desire to win now, and craving more of the big stage.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."
While Nance says it’s “a collaboration” to move him, it was very much, in his own words, Nance’s idea. He had the desire to win now and at no point did he mention GM Koby Altman wanting Nance Jr.’s blessing to ship him away in a trade.
Call it a collaboration all you want, but a trade demand is a trade demand no matter how nice you ask. That doesn’t mean that Nance didn’t have the right to request a trade, or that we’re mad that he did. It is telling about the state of the organization though.
The trade got Cavs a good scorer but it doesn’t replace Larry Nance
The Cavs got back Lauri Markkanen, who is a good player, as has been stated multiple times over the last day on this site. The issue is Markkanen is as useful on defense as a spaghetti strainer is against a raging flood. You can hold on as much as you want with hope but eventually, you will end up on your rear.
So does Nance’s trade demand make the Markkanen trade any better? No, he still doesn’t fit the defensive-mindedness the team has been trying to build and instill ever since J.B. Bickerstaff was hired.
Does it make it a slight against Altman’s GM tenure? Yes, but not as bad as it looked on Friday. If you have a player in Nance who wants to be gone, you have to find a way to make it happen, otherwise, he’s just going to be a problem for you. So the move makes a lot more sense without any details as to the conversations that surrounded it. We don’t know who else was being targeted, what other teams were involved, or if Nance was open to going to any contender or just Portland. Altman may have gotten the best offer on the table. Sure, that’s possible. If that’s the case then, go Altman!
More from Cleveland Cavaliers
- Kyle Kuzma is not a good fit for the Cleveland Cavaliers
- The Cleveland Cavaliers are rumored to be interested in trading Cedi Osman to get back in the 2023 NBA Draft
- Should the Cleveland Cavaliers go after Kristaps Porzingis?
- Would Hunter Tyson be a good get for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2023 NBA Draft?
- 3 of the most embarrassing moments in Cleveland Cavaliers history
If there was a better offer that fit the team, and Altman picked the swiss cheese of post defenders? Then go, Altman.
Regardless of how you slice it, the trade request is even more damning now after the article. In what was supposed to be a heartfelt sendoff to his team and fans, a nugget of truth was lodged in there that can’t be overlooked.
Even Nance knew the team was not going to compete this year.
With the Evan Mobley move, trading for Ricky Rubio and Markkanen, as well as (hopefully) going after another wing player like Garrison Matthews, even Nance didn’t think the playoffs were possible.
He didn’t have faith that the team would be contenders anytime soon. We’re entering the fourth year since the rebuild started. It took the Grizzlies three years to go from the Mike Conley and Marc Gasol era to the Ja Morant and Jarren Jackson Jr. era. The Grizzlies only had two seasons where they didn’t make the playoffs (technically), with Memphis landing a play-in spot for the 2019-2020 season.
There is no reason for the Cavs to not get into, at least, the play-in tournament in 2021-2022.
While it sucks that Nance is gone, it’s understandable. This team is in disarray, and there are no guarantees to anything in the regular season. All we can hope for is that the Cavs’ acquisitions this offseason put the team over the top and they return to a winning or very near-winning record for the 2021-2022 season.