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Reports: Larry Nance Jr. to miss up to six weeks, Pelicans didn’t require physical for trade

Larry Nance Jr. in Portland Trail Blazers v New Orleans Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 21: Larry Nance Jr. #11 of the Portland Trail Blazers reacts against the New Orleans Pelicans during a game at the Smoothie King Center on December 21, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

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The immediate reaction to news the 22-32 Pelicans were trading for C.J. McCollum, who’s on the wrong side of 30 and due $69,135,802 the next two seasons, was understandably mostly negative.

But as the full deal with the Trail Blazers emerged, New Orleans’ decision rated more favorably. Among the reasons: “What puts this trade over the top for New Orleans is getting Larry Nance Jr., a quality two-way wing who can come off the bench, play good defense, get a few buckets and give them depth on the wing the team lacked.”

Except the Pelicans won’t get those contributions from Nance anytime soon.

Andrew Lopez of ESPN:

Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report:

The Pelicans could have required physicals to complete the trade, though perhaps the Trail Blazers wouldn’t have agreed to the deal with physicals required. Or vice versa!

With or without physicals, Portland was required to disclose all pertinent information about Nance’s health on the trade call. In 2015, the 76ers got fined $3 million for not fully disclosing Jrue Holiday’s injury history when dealing him to New Orleans two years prior. Perhaps, the Trail Blazers did disclose everything they were supposed to. Nance’s ongoing absence wasn’t a secret.

Pelicans lead executive David Griffin should explain why he traded for Nance without requiring a physical (not that I expect forthrightness).

New Orleans traded for McCollum – and, I thought, Nance – in part to make a postseason push this year. The Pelicans are 10th in the Western Conference, trying to hold off the Spurs, Kings (who just made their own win-now trade) and Trail Blazers. New Orleans might even hope to catch the Lakers and Clippers for better play-in position.

In other words, every game counts. The Pelicans could use Nance right now. They’re scheduled to play 18 of their remaining 28 games in the next six weeks. This isn’t a team that can just coast to the postseason and simply welcome Nance back then. Plus, New Orleans is missing valuable time for Nance and his new teammates to develop chemistry with each other.

Maybe it’s time to re-re-evaluate the C.J. McCollum trade.