Report: Celtics, Heat, 76ers and More 'Desperately' Wanted Larry Nance Jr. Trade

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2021

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. (22) handles the ball in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Brandon Dill/Associated Press

The Cleveland Cavaliers kept Larry Nance Jr. despite significant interest from playoff contenders ahead of last Thursday's trade deadline.

According to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans were all "desperately trying to pry him away."

The Cavaliers traded away veteran JaVale McGee and agreed to a buyout with Andre Drummond, but they kept Nance because the organization "considers him a core piece," per Fedor.

Nance was limited by a hand injury for part of the season but is averaging 10.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game while his 37.9 three-point percentage would be the best of his career.

In his past three games, the forward is averaging 16 points, 11 rebounds and five assists while shooting 5-of-10 from beyond the arc.

The 28-year-old has been a valuable defender and athletic presence in the post, yet his offensive game continues to improve in his sixth year in the NBA.

Even with Cleveland looking to rebuild around its younger players, Nance provides value on the court and is on a reasonable contract for his production. He is owed about $20.4 million over the next two years combined.

Nance is also a fan favorite and has a father who spent seven seasons with the Cavs and earned two All-Star selections for the franchise. It's easy to see why a contender would have wanted the forward, but Cleveland saw his value beyond whatever assets could have been brought back in a trade.