Larry Nance Jr. Denies Report That Lakers GM Rob Pelinka Lied to Him About Trade

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Larry Nance Jr. was acquired by the Cleveland Cavaliers from the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 8, 2018, a trade that brought him back to the area where he grew up. In the wake of a report which stated that Nance had accused Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka of lying to him about his status at the time, Nance took to social media to set the record straight.

The controversy began when Bill Oram of The Athletic wrote of the turmoil currently surrounding the Lakers organization and indicated how Nance’s trade was supposedly part of that internal chaos:

“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.”

Instead, Nance and Jordan Clarkson were acquired for Cavs point guard Isaiah Thomas, veteran forward Channing Frye and a first-round pick. None of the players sent in exchange for Nance and Clarkson would fall into the category of a top-three player.

However, Nance made clear that such a scenario never took place and indicated that he and Pelinka have maintained a relationship.

Since joining the Cavaliers, the 26-year-old Nance has played in 91 games and started 40 of those contests. He’s averaged 9.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists, while also offering an array of dazzling dunks along the way.

More importantly for the Cavaliers, Nance signed a four-year contract extension last October worth an estimated $45 million. The deal begins next season, with Nance potentially in position to have a larger impact with increased playing time. That’s because of the possibility of the Cavs dealing Tristan Thompson at some point during the offseason or before next February’s trade deadline.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.