The Blazers had added some depth to their bench by acquiring Larry Nance Jr. from the Cavaliers Friday. Nance Jr. joins the team in a three-team deal with the Bulls sending Lauri Markkanen to the Cavs in a sign-and-trade.
In comes Nance Jr., and out goes Derrick Jones Jr.
He’ll join a bench with recent signees Ben McLemore, Cody Zeller, and Tony Snell. Along with mainstay Anfernee Simons and Nassir Little, the team has constructed a decent bench on paper.
As for Nance Jr., he’ll be adding a little bit of what Jones Jr. provided -- an athletic player who’s always a lob threat.
Where the two differ is Nance Jr. is a little bit more of a threat on the court.
In his final season with the Cavaliers, which saw him appear in 35 games, 27 starts due to injury, the 28-year-old averaged 9.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.7 steals. That's a very good stat-line for someone that wasn’t the focal point of the team but knew how to play his role and did a little bit of everything.
A multi-talented player like Nance who can contribute some scoring, rebounding, playmaking, and defense is exactly what the Blazers need. He’s in a similar ilk of Robert Covington and Norman Powell as guys who aren’t pigeonholed to one particular skill.
Another boon with Nance Jr. will come with his shooting. Last season he had a slash line of .471/.360/.612. Although ideally, the free-throw shooting could be better, it’s respectable.
His value lies in his shooting near 50% from the field and almost 40% from three, making him playable in the paint and on the perimeter in pick-and-roll situations, likely with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.