At the 2017-18 NBA trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers traded Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson to the Cleveland Cavaliers to create two max-contract slots.
As the Lakers eventually signed LeBron James five months later in free agency, Paul George did not meet with them and re-signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
While it was difficult to trade Nance Jr., he has an opportunity to play for his hometown team and the 2018-19 NBA season was his best to begin his young career.
And when the Lakers were officially eliminated from playoff contention, there was a report about general manager Rob Pelinka telling Nance Jr. to buy a house before trading him to the Cavaliers shortly after, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic:
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.
Before Nance could get that far, however, he received a call on the morning of Feb. 8, 2018. He and Jordan Clarkson had been traded to Cleveland in a salary dump that cleared cap space for the Lakers to be able to offer two max slots in the summer.
However, Nance Jr. has denied this report, via Twitter:
Just got a chance to read some of these articles about Rob Pelinka supposedly promising me I’d stay in LA.. Wanted to clear the air and say that is not the case. This league is a business and we all know it. Rob and I had and still have a great relationship.
— Larry Nance Jr (@Larrydn22) April 30, 2019
At just 26-years-old, Nance Jr. knows how to handle the media extremely well. Amid conflicting reports about Pelinka’s reputation around the league, it was very considerate of Nance Jr. to address this report.
As Nance Jr. helps the Cavaliers rebuild, the Lakers are looking to stabilize themselves. With Pelinka reportedly running the front office, Los Angeles is currently looking for their next head coach.