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Report: Rob Pelinka Told Larry Nance Jr. to Buy House in L.A. Before Trading Him

Larry Nance Jr. Cavs

In 2018, Larry Nance Jr. was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Of course, the NBA is a business and few players are immune from potential trades.

But Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka offered Nance assurances that the Lakers would only trade Nance for a top three player in the league according to The Athletic‘s Bill Oram.

“When [Kyle] Kuzma went to Charlotte for All-Star Weekend to participate in the NBA’s Rising Stars Challenge, he sought an audience with Pelinka. Kuzma and his people came away from their chat feeling reassured, a source close to the situation told The Athletic. Pelinka told the second-year forward that he was key to the Lakers’ future and that, unless it was a trade for one of the game’s three best players, he wasn’t trading him.

“A year earlier, Larry Nance Jr. approached Pelinka with a similar question.

“Nance Jr. and his fiancée, his college girlfriend, were interested in buying a house. He wanted to get a sense of whether the Lakers planned on keeping him around, and Pelinka told him that the Lakers would only trade him if it meant landing one of the game’s three best players. He told him to buy the house, multiple sources confirmed.”

Despite what Pelinka told Nance, the Lakers traded the big man along with Jordan Clarkson in what was essentially a salary dump. The Lakers received Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, and a draft pick in return for Nance and Clarkson.

Unless the Lakers coveted Thomas as a top three player in the league, Pelinka misled Nance. The problem here isn’t trading Nance. The Lakers had every right to make the deal, but leading him to believe he was safe is the bigger issue.

This deal allowed the Lakers to position themselves to sign LeBron James so it worked out for the organization. That being said, the way Pelinka handled Nance’s situation is not a great look for the Lakers.

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