Larry Nance Jr. hasn’t enjoyed much stability in his seven-year NBA career, but he hopes to find it with the Pelicans, writes Christian Clark of NOLA.com. Nance was a perfect fit in New Orleans after being acquired from the Trail Blazers in February, and with one year left on his contract, he’s hoping for an extension.
“Willie (Green) is my eighth head coach,” Nance said. “I have had seven different general managers. I am so tired of it. This organization has been incredible since I got here. The people are great. The fan base is incredible. I would love to make this a permanent stay. But again, that’s not up to me.”
The first order of business for Nance after the trade was arthroscopic surgery to fix his right knee, which kept him sidelined until late March. Clark notes that Nance was much more explosive when he resumed playing.
“The little piece of meniscus in my knee was bothering me for the past few years,” Nance said. “I didn’t even realize it. Getting that cleaned up and cleaned out and getting to play that last stretch of games was fully healthy was great. I still feel great. My body is in a great place right now.”
There’s more from New Orleans:
- The Pelicans have 14 players under contract for next season, but there are some important decisions to make this offseason, Clark adds. CJ McCollum, who came to New Orleans in the same deal as Nance, will also be eligible for an extension, and the team has to figure out whether to make a maximum extension offer to Zion Williamson. Executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said those situations will be addressed and called it “a real blessing” that all three players want to remain with the Pelicans.
- McCollum attracted headlines at the All-Star break when he said that he hadn’t been able to speak with Williamson, who was working out away from the team. On Friday, Williamson offered an explanation, tweets Andrew Lopez of ESPN. “Honestly, I was focused on rehabbing around that time,” he said. “I texted CJ shortly after to apologize about that. Like I said, I was mentally not in a good space. Mr. McCollum, he was cool about it.”
- Williamson’s comments at Friday’s media session that he still wants a future in New Orleans were exactly what the organization needed to hear, contends Rod Walker of NOLA.com, as Williamson did his best to silence persistent speculation that he would rather be in a bigger market. “I can’t control rumors and how people feel about certain things,” Williamson said. “I said this in my interview with (Pelicans TV announcer) Antonio (Daniels). Anybody who knows me, knows I want to be here. If they feel otherwise, I can’t help that. But if you know me, you know I want to be here.”