Larry Nance Jr.

Injury Notes: Shamet, Caruso, Harris, Nance

Landry Shamet (right Achilles soreness) will miss a third consecutive game on Friday when the Suns visit Toronto, but it sounds like he’s closer to returning than some of his injured teammates. Shamet is aiming to make it back before Phoenix’s road trip wraps up on Wednesday, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic.

“Whenever they give me the green light,” Shamet said. “… There’s a reason they get paid to do what they do, the training staff. … I feel good to go right now, but I trust them to let me know when I’m ready to go.”

The Suns are also missing Devin Booker (groin strain), Cameron Johnson (meniscus tear), Cameron Payne (foot strain), and Jae Crowder (not with team), so getting Shamet back would give the rotation a lift.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Bulls guard Alex Caruso will return on Friday vs. Detroit following a three-game absence due to a sprained right shoulder and a stint in the concussion protocol, writes Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago. The Bulls won two of three games without Caruso available, but will welcome him back with open arms — the club has a plus-3.7 net rating when he’s on the court this season, compared to a minus-5.3 mark when he sits.
  • Nets sharpshooter Joe Harris, who has missed the last three games due to soreness, is remaining in Brooklyn while the team travels to Charlotte for Saturday’s game, tweets Nick Friedell of ESPN. Harris will be reevaluated in a few days, Friedell adds.
  • Pelicans forward/center Larry Nance Jr. left Wednesday’s game early due to what the team dubbed a neck contusion/spasm (Twitter link). Nance, already bothered by a shoulder issue, was in “a lot of pain” on the bench, tweets Andrew Lopez of ESPN, and is considered doubtful to play on Friday vs. Philadelphia, per the official injury report.

Pelicans Notes: CBA, Jones, Ingram, Marshall, Nance

Zion Williamson‘s continued evolution into a superstar and his health are foremost among the factors that will determine the Pelicans‘ long-term ceiling, but the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations currently taking place between the NBA and the players’ union will also have a major impact on the team’s future, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

As Windhorst writes, New Orleans’ roster – one of the NBA’s deepest – is starting to get more expensive and the club is one of two NBA franchises never to have paid the luxury tax, so any major changes to the tax system, including the possible implementation of an “upper spending limit,” would be of particular interest to the Pelicans.

Here’s more on the Pelicans:

  • Pelicans forward Herbert Jones appears set to return from a five-game absence due to a left ankle sprain, having been listed as probable to play on Tuesday in Utah, per Andrew Lopez of ESPN (Twitter link). Brandon Ingram will remain sidelined to a great left toe contusion — he hasn’t played since November 25, but New Orleans also hasn’t lost a game while he has been sidelined.
  • Described by his teammates as a “junkyard dog” and a “Swiss Army knife,” Naji Marshall isn’t one of the Pelicans’ top eight scorers, but he has become an important role player who brings physicality to the court and good vibes to the locker room, writes William Guillory of The Athletic. The former undrafted free agent is on a team-friendly minimum-salary contract that runs through next season.
  • Like Marshall, big man Larry Nance Jr. is a valuable reserve whose production off the bench has been a key part of the Pelicans’ depth, writes Christian Clark of NOLA.com (subscription required). A go-to option at center in fourth quarter lineups due to his defensive versatility, Nance is justifying New Orleans’ decision to sign him to an extension during the preseason. The team has a +11.6 net rating in his 553 minutes so far this season.

Injury Notes: MPJ, Hyland, Oladipo, Pelicans, Clippers, Holmgren

Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. (left heel contusion) will miss his fourth consecutive game on Wednesday, but Denver will get some reinforcements vs. Houston with Bones Hyland (non-COVID illness) set to make his return following a three-game absence, per Harrison Wind or DNVR Sports (Twitter links).

Hyland last played on November 22 and was hampered by his illness on that night, logging just nine minutes. The Nuggets guard said today that he “couldn’t breathe on the floor” during that game, but is “feeling great” now, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post.

Here are a few more health-related updates from around the NBA:

  • Heat guard Victor Oladipo practiced with the team on Tuesday, but there wasn’t any contact during that session and he won’t play on the current road trip, which runs through next Monday, head coach Erik Spoelstra said today (link via Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel). While Oladipo hasn’t played yet this season due to left knee tendinosis, it sounds like he’s making progress toward a return.
  • Pelicans guard CJ McCollum has exited the NBA’s health and safety protocols, but will remain sidelined on Wednesday as he attempts to get back into game shape, tweets Andrew Lopez of ESPN. New Orleans did get some good news on Larry Nance Jr. — he’ll be available after missing Monday’s game with a right shoulder injury.
  • Still without Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and Luke Kennard, the Clippers added Norman Powell to their injury report for Wednesday’s game in Utah due to a left groin strain. Powell is doubtful to play, says Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN (Twitter link).
  • Thunder big man Chet Holmgren will undergo a follow-up procedure to remove the “hardware” in his right foot from his previous surgery, a team spokesperson tells Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. The procedure had been planned and is a sign that Holmgren is making progress, Mussatto adds.

Southwest Notes: McCollum, Pelicans Bench, Wood, McGee, Wall

CJ McCollum has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols and is out for Friday’s game against the Grizzlies, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

In his first full season as a starting point guard, the Pelicans veteran is averaging 18.7 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 6.1 APG and 1.2 SPG on .410/.342/.794 shooting through 17 games (35.1 MPG). The rebounds and assists represent career highs, but the FG% and 3PT% are career lows. McCollum has never shot below 37.5% from long distance, so his current figure should rise over time.

With McCollum sidelined in Wednesday’s victory over the Spurs, second-year guard Jose Alvarado started in his place, with Devonte’ Graham and Dyson Daniels receiving more playing time off the bench. That should continue until McCollum is cleared to return.

Here’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Pelicans‘ bench has been a major reason the team has withstood short-term injuries to stars Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram thus far in 2022/23, according to Christian Clark of NOLA.com (subscriber link). “It’s extremely important if you want to go far in the postseason,” head coach Willie Green said. “Having your second unit come in that can execute, that’s fearless. They play together. They play with joy. It makes all the difference in the world of how far your team can go.” As Clark notes, Alvarado and Larry Nance Jr. have been standout performers off the bench, but multiple players are contributing to wins for the 11-7 Pelicans.
  • Kevin Sherrington of The Dallas Morning News questions why Christian Wood hasn’t received more playing time after the Mavericks dealt their 2022 first-round pick to acquire him from Houston in the offseason. Sherrington writes that the Mavs knew Wood wasn’t a great defensive player when they made the trade, and he’s been highly productive when on the court, averaging 17.3 PPG and 7.8 RPG on .585/.447/.697 shooting in just 25.3 MPG through 15 games. On the other end of the spectrum, Sherrington states that JaVale McGee has been a disappointing free agent addition thus far and probably shouldn’t be getting rotation minutes.
  • Both Wood and head coach Jason Kidd responded to questions about Wood potentially entering the Mavericks‘ starting lineup after Wednesday’s lopsided loss to the Celtics, writes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. “I think I’m gonna just keep that that personal opinion to myself,” Wood said. “But what I can say is I’m enjoying my time here. I love playing for Dallas. These guys, they support me. They pick me up when I have a bad game. So things are going great.” Kidd said he talks to his staff about possible changes every day, and suggested one might be coming soon. “You’ve got to look at all the combinations you got to see who’s playing well,” he said, per Townsend. “And just understand that sometimes change has to happen. It’s just the nature of sport. There’s no hard feelings or anything personal. This is their job and we’re trying to win ballgames. We’re trying to put the right combinations out there.”
  • In an interview with Kelly Iko of The Athletic, former Rockets guard John Wall talked about mentoring the team’s young backcourt and his relationship with head coach Stephen Silas, among other topics. Wall signed with the Clippers over the summer after being bought out by Houston, and is averaging 11.9 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 5.7 APG and 1.1 APG through 15 games (22.1 MPG) as Los Angeles’ backup point guard.

Pelicans Notes: Lewis, Nance, Williamson

Pelicans guard Kira Lewis, who is making his way back from a torn ACL that sidelined him for much of last season and the start of this season, is inching closer to a return, having progressed to full five-on-five work, tweets ESPN’s Andrew Lopez.

While five-on-five scrimmages are generally one of the final steps in a player’s rehab process before he returns to action, Lewis may need some time to get back up to game speed and improve his conditioning after being sidelined for nearly a full year. According to Lopez, the next step for the former first-round pick is to spend some time with the Birmingham Squadron, New Orleans’ G League affiliate.

Here’s more on the Pelicans:

  • After initial post-game testing indicated that Larry Nance Jr. had avoided a major knee injury on Monday, an MRI confirmed that there’s no structural damage in Nance’s hyperextended left knee, according to Lopez (Twitter link). Nance, listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game, will receive some minor treatment for the injury, but shouldn’t miss much – if any – time.
  • While Nance was virtually an afterthought in last season’s deadline trade that sent him and CJ McCollum to New Orleans, the Pelicans had been interested in the veteran forward for years, says Christian Clark of NOLA.com. According to Clark, the Pels previously explored trading for Nance when he was playing in Cleveland and were thrilled to get him as part of their McCollum deal with Portland. Nance, who said he felt an “immediate click” in New Orleans, has been playing some small-ball five since joining his new team. “I feel like this type of role is what I’ve been looking for for a while,” Nance said. “Closing games as a switchable five that if you need to play through me, play through me. If you need me to space, I can space.”
  • After battling a non-COVID illness on Friday and cramping on Saturday, Zion Williamson looked more like himself on the court on Monday, scoring 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting, Clark writes for NOLA.com. The former No. 1 overall pick is still getting up to full speed after missing all of last season with a foot injury. “I feel my burst coming back,” Williamson said. “I could rehab as much as I did, I can practice away from the game, but the real game is different. Going against the best basketball players in the world. Being able to feel, to see it. I feel those bursts, and my comfortability is coming back, too.”

Pelicans Notes: Nance, Assets, Valanciunas, Zion

Pelicans forward Larry Nance Jr. appears to have avoided a major injury after leaving Monday’s loss to Indiana in the third quarter due to a knee problem. As Andrew Lopez of ESPN writes, Nance’s left knee hyperextended while he was attempting to grab a rebound and there was some initial fear that he had torn a ligament. However, further testing seemed to indicate there’s no significant damage.

“I just went to step, and it bent a direction it shouldn’t go,” Nance said, per Lopez. “Thankfully, we’re not worried about any ligament damage. We’re not worried about meniscus.

“It’s just one of those things that you do, and as someone who has torn their ACL before (while in college at Wyoming), it’s scary. It hurts. I just wanted to make sure I got it checked out. It’s sore, but we’ve avoided anything big-time.”

Nance is considered day-to-day and hasn’t been ruled out for the Pelicans’ game on Wednesday in Chicago.

“We’re going to ice it, do some treatment,” he said after Monday’s game. “And tonight, we told (head coach) Willie (Green) that if he needed me I was available to go back in. We’re gonna do some treatment and see how it responds tomorrow. But positive news.”

Here’s more on the Pelicans:

  • Already a solid playoff contender, the Pelicans still control 13 first-round picks in the next seven drafts and have more roster depth than they know what to do with, signaling that there’s a trade to be made, argues Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. While teams like Utah and Oklahoma City have more draft assets, they’re not in win-now mode like New Orleans is, so the Pels are in position to outbid virtually any contending team if an impact player becomes available.
  • An underrated part of a talented Pelicans roster that features stars Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, and CJ McCollum, veteran center Jonas Valanciunas spoke to Mark Medina of NBA.com about his role, building chemistry with Williamson, and how he has evolved to adapt to the modern-day NBA. Valanciunas is averaging a double-double (14.4 PPG, 10.3 RPG) for a fourth straight season despite playing a modest 24.7 minutes per game.
  • In a conversation with Melissa Rohlin of FOX Sports, Williamson discussed his attempts to tune out criticism about his weight and his belief that he still has plenty of room to continue growing and improving as a player. “There’s a lot of abilities that I have that I haven’t showcased,” Williamson said. “There’s abilities that I’ll show when I’m practicing or playing one-on-one, (but) in a game, I’ll be so in my head where I want to be this perfectionist or I’ll want to feel that I can make every shot I take that I won’t shoot my (mid-range jumper) or I won’t shoot my three. I’m capable of doing all of that and more. It’s just I gotta get out of this perfectionist mindset.”

Contract Details: Fernando, Herro, Nance, Adams

The Rockets used a portion of their mid-level exception to give Bruno Fernando a four-year deal and a guaranteed salary of $2,717,391 for the 2022/23 season, Hoops Rumors has confirmed. Fernando’s salary will dip to $2,581,522 for 2023/24 before rising back up to $2,717,391 for ’24/25 and increasing to $2,853,260 for ’25/26. As Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets, the second and third years of Fernando’s deal are non-guaranteed, while the fourth year is a team option.

Here are some details on a few more new contracts from around the NBA:

  • Tyler Herro‘s four-year extension with the Heat will pay him annual salaries of $27MM, $29MM, $31MM, and $33MM beginning in 2023/24, for a base value of exactly $120MM, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. The deal also includes $2.5MM in annual incentives that are currently considered unlikely.
  • Larry Nance Jr.‘s two-year extension with the Pelicans will pay him $10,375,000 in 2023/24 and $11,205,000 in ’24/25, tweets Anil Gogna of NoTradeClause.com. Because Nance’s second-year raise exceeds 5%, he’ll be ineligible to be traded during the 2022/23 season.
  • Steven Adams‘ two-year extension with the Grizzlies features a flat base salary of $12.6MM in both 2023/24 and ’24/25, with no options or incentives, Hoops Rumors has confirmed. Adams’ new deal doesn’t exceed the extend-and-trade limits, so he’ll remain trade-eligible this season.
  • As expected, the recent contracts signed by Kaiser Gates (Nets), Brandon Rachal (Nets), and Sacha Killeya-Jones (Thunder) all included Exhibit 10 language.

Pelicans Sign Larry Nance Jr. To Two-Year Extension

OCTOBER 3: Nance has officially signed the extension, according to a team press release.


OCTOBER 1: The Pelicans and forward Larry Nance Jr. have reached an agreement on a two-year, $21.6MM extension, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

Nance is entering the final year of a four-year, $44.8MM contract. He’ll make $9,672,727 this season.

There are no team or player options included in the new extension, Will Guillory of The Athletic tweets.

Nance, 29, has bounced around the league a little bit but has always been coveted for his versatility. He launched his career with the Lakers and played three-and-a-half seasons with Cleveland. He began last season on Portland’s roster but was part of the blockbuster deal that brought CJ McCollum to New Orleans.

Nance appeared in a total of 46 regular season games last season. Overall, he’s appeared in 396 regular season contests, averaging 8.1 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.9 APG and 1.2 SPG in 24.1 MPG.

He projects as Zion Williamson‘s backup this season and now, apparently, for the next two seasons as well.

As Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times-Picayune notes (Twitter link), the Pelicans will now have eight players — McCollum, Brandon Ingram, Williamson, Devonte’ Graham, Dyson Daniels, Trey Murphy, Jose Alvarado and Nance — under contract for the next three seasons.

Southwest Notes: KPJ, Bane, McCollum, Nance

Rockets point guard Kevin Porter Jr. appears to have earned a long-term look with the franchise. Houston and Porter have had initial discussions about the future of the extension-eligible 22-year-old, prompting Kelly Iko and Danny Leroux of The Athletic take a deep dive into what a new deal might look like for the fourth-year guard.

Leroux projects an annual number in the range of $10-15MM for Porter. Should the Rockets opt to not extend Porter and instead let him reach restricted free agency in the summer of 2023, Leroux notes that the market for the 6’4″ guard’s services could be dampened. Currently, just seven NBA clubs, including the Rockets, project to have cap space available to sign Porter for more than the mid-level exception.

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Third-year Grizzlies shooting guard Desmond Bane has evolved into a reliable locker-room leader, despite his relative greenness, writes Damichael Cole of the Memphis Commercial Appeal“I’ve always been a vet [in terms of personal comportment], but now I’m a vet for real,” Bane said. “I don’t really think that too much has to change. I’ve always been the guy to lead by example, put my best foot in front of the other. That’s half of leadership right there.”
  • Pelicans veteran players CJ McCollum and Larry Nance Jr., new additions to the team at the 2022 trade deadline, are extension-eligible this summer. Will Guillory and Danny Leroux of The Athletic consider potential extension contracts for both New Orleans players. Christian Clark of NOLA.com writes that McCollum contributed as a versatile scorer and consistent ball-handler, while Nance helped the team in the less-glamorous role of flexible bench big. Clark notes that both players have shown interest in sticking around long term with an exciting young Pelicans club hot off its first playoff appearance in four years.
  • In case you missed it, the lucrative new extension inked by Pelicans power forward Zion Williamson includes a caveat that requires him to get consistent weigh-ins by New Orleans. Should the total of his body fat percentage and weight exceed 295, the team will be able to reduce the guaranteed portion of his salary.

Pelicans Notes: McCollum, Nance Jr., Zion, Graham

It sounds like the Pelicans might be interested in extending the contracts of a couple of mid-season additions. Speaking on his latest Hoop Collective podcast (hat tip to RealGM), ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said he’s heard that New Orleans is interested in coming to agreements with CJ McCollum and Larry Nance Jr., who were both acquired from Portland in February prior to the trade deadline.

It sounds like CJ McCollum is having some contract extension talks with the Pelicans,” said Windhorst. “I’m not sure when he can actually sign that. I know he signed his last contract extension in 2019.”

I believe it is next month when they can start talking about that,” said ESPN’s Andrew Lopez. “I know it’s before the season…”

Maybe they haven’t ‘talked’, but I heard they ‘talked’, don’t tell anybody,” Windhorst replied in a hushed voice.

I think the Pelicans are also interested in extending Larry Nance’s contract,” Windhorst added. “We’ll see if that gets done.”

McCollum, who turns 31 in September, is under contract for the next two seasons at a combined $69.13MM, while Nance, who turns 30 in January, has one year left on his deal at $9.67MM.

Here’s more from New Orleans:

  • Zion Williamson offically signed his five-year, designated rookie max extension on Wednesday. At the press conference to announce the deal, he said he’s determined to show the world that he’s a winning player, Lopez relays in a story for ESPN.com. “I want to prove that I’m a winner,” Williamson said. “It’s as simple as that. I want to win with coach. As well as with my teammates. The ultimate goal is to win the championship. I feel like that’s what we’re all striving for. Like Griff (executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin) said, we’re hungry. Y’all saw this past year what the team did and I’m just excited to add to that.”
  • With Williamson locked in for the next six years, the Pelicans could be ‘scary’ for the rest of the NBA, according to Christian Clark of NOLA.com. “Now it’s going to take work to get there,” head coach Willie Green said at Williamson’s press conference. “What groups play well together? How can we take advantage of different mismatches? How can we put all of our guys on the floor and give them an opportunity to be successful? That takes work. But it all comes together at some point throughout the course of the season, and when it does I think we can be a scary team.” Adding Williamson to a group that made an impressive turnaround to reach the postseason after a miserable start will certainly make the Pelicans an interesting team to follow in 2022/23.
  • Guard Devonte’ Graham, whom the Pelicans acquired in a sign-and-trade last summer, was arrested for driving while impaired on Thursday morning, Clark writes in a separate piece for NOLA.com. The incident occurred in Raleigh, North Carolina, Graham’s hometown. The 27-year-old averaged 11.9 PPG, 2.3 RPG and 4.2 APG on .363/.341/.843 in 76 games (63 starts, 28.3 MPG) with New Orleans last season. He was limited to just 10 MPG in the team’s first-round playoff loss to Phoenix. Graham is under contract through ’24/25 for a total of $36.3MM, but the final year is only partially guaranteed at $2.85MM, making the guaranteed portion of his deal $26.5MM.