Ongoing Extension Talks Between Cavs, Nance

Weeks before LeBron James officially announced his decision to head west, a report indicated that the Cavaliers and Larry Nance Jr. had mutual interest in working out a long-term contract agreement this offseason. According to Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link), the Cavs and Nance’s camp are now engaged in ongoing discussions about a possible extension, with both sides still hoping to get something done.

Nance, acquired from the Lakers by the Cavaliers in a trade-deadline deal in February, set new career-highs in PPG (8.7), RPG (6.8), FG% (.581), and several other categories during the 2017/18 season in 66 total games (24 for Cleveland).

Although Nance looked good down the stretch for the Cavs, he struggled to make a consistent impact in the postseason, particularly after the club’s first-round series against the Pacers. In Cleveland’s final three series, Nance averaged just 13.0 MPG in 13 contests, averaging 4.6 PPG and 4.5 RPG.

Still, the Cavs liked what they saw from the 25-year-old big man after surrendering a first-round pick to trade for him and Jordan Clarkson. Having already locked up Kevin Love to a long-term extension this summer, the club apparently views Nance as another potential future building block. If they want to get an extension done with Nance, the Cavs will have to do so before the 2018/19 regular season begins.

Nance entered July as one of 23 players eligible for a rookie scale extension. That number is down to 22 now that Devin Booker and the Suns have finalized a new deal. Nance looks like one of the prime candidates from the group to sign an extension before the deadline — Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves), Bobby Portis (Bulls), Kristaps Porzingis (Knicks), Myles Turner (Pacers), and Justise Winslow (Heat) are among the other players who figure to at least engage in extension talks with their respective teams this offseason.

If Nance doesn’t sign an extension in the coming months, he’ll be eligible for restricted free agency in 2019, at which point the Cavs would retain the right of first refusal if they extend him a qualifying offer. That qualifying offer can be worth up to about $4.92MM if Nance starts at least 41 games for Cleveland next season.

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