After a lackluster start to free agency, fans of the Portland Trail Blazers were thirsting for something more to improve the prospects of the team as they go into the upcoming NBA season. When the team entered into a three-way trade with the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers, those fans got their wish in the form of Larry Nance Jr. Colin-Ward Henniger of CBS Sports hails the move as the “most underrated” in the offseason for the Blazers.
The Blazers’ lack of a splash this offseason amid Damian Lillard’s dissatisfaction has been one of the key storylines of the summer, as re-signing Norman Powell was their most publicized move. Another useful transaction, however, was bringing Nance aboard in the three-way trade involving Lauri Markkanen and Derrick Jones Jr. Our James Herbert broke down the ways in which Nance will help the Blazers on both ends, mostly as a potential remedy for one of the league’s most porous defenses. Nance also shot a career-high 36 percent from 3-point range last season and dished out 3.1 assists per game. Out of all the Blazers’ offseason acquisitions, Nance will probably make the biggest immediate difference.
Coming off of the bench, Nance Jr. will certainly add much-needed defense to the second unit. We look forward to seeing him take the court this season.