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Nance Jr.’s Passing and Pesky Defense Should Have the Blazers Excited

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Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes listed Larry Nance Jr. as the Trail Blazers player worth getting excited about for the 2021-22 season.

NBA: Playoffs-Cleveland Cavaliers at Indiana Pacers Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Outside of retaining Norman Powell, the Trail Blazers’ signature roster move this summer was the acquisition of forward Larry Nance Jr. from the Cavaliers. Nance Jr., a high-flying forward, is set to bolster Portland’s depth for the upcoming season.

Over the weekend, Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes tabbed Nance Jr. as the Blazers player worth getting excited about. Hughes credited the former Wyoming standout’s active hands on defense and steady passing on offense.

Portland also needs some defensive disruption and competent passing from its roll man, and Nance is the only active big man with a career steal rate above 2.5 percent and an assist rate above 11.0 percent. Two more boxes checked.

Nurkic is a valuable piece, but you’ve got to like the potential of a Blazers closing five made up of Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Norman Powell, Robert Covington and Nance. That group could tie defenses in knots and flummox opposing offenses with a switch-heavy look—all made possible by Nance’s unique game.

Last season, Nance Jr. averaged 9.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game with the Cavs. You can read the complete post from Hughes at Bleacher Report.