When the Los Angeles Lakers drafted Larry Nance Jr. with the 27th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft out of Wyoming, it came evident right away that he has a leaping ability better than most players in the league.
His rookie season he had a lot of impressive dunks but did not have that signature poster dunk over anybody.
That changed early in his sophomore season, as on Nov. 15, 2016, against the Brooklyn Nets, Nance crossed over Quincy Acy and drove towards the basket.
The only thing between him and the basket was Nets seven-foot center, Brook Lopez. Instead of trying to go around him or trying to draw a foul, Nance rose up and jumped over Lopez, finishing with a thunderous dunk.
Many believe it was the dunk of the year, but that is now official as NBA TV ranked the top 10 dunks of the 2016-17 season, and Nance came in at No. 1:
— NBA TV (@NBATV) April 14, 2017
Nance had some other great dunks throughout the course of the season, but he was also able to prove that he can do more than just dunk this season.
In 63 games (seven starts), Nance averaged a career-high 7.1 points per game, while also averaging career-highs in rebounds (5.9), assists (1.5), steals (1.3) and blocks (0.6).
He finished the season as the team’s starting center, although with his size the 24-year-old is more suited to play power forward.
While there will be plenty of changes to the Lakers roster this offseason after finishing 26-56, Nance is likely one of the guys that won’t be going anywhere as his hustle and effort on the defensive end of the floor is a dream for any coach.