Since being take with the 27th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Los Angeles Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. has largely been considered a steal thanks to his exciting big play ability, and overall polished game.
In fact, Nance played so well last year, and looked so improved over the summer, that expectations have risen quite a bit with the arrival of new head coach Luke Walton and his plans for a fast-pace, up-tempo offense. Nance recently sat down Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders to discuss his ideal role in Walton’s new offense:
“Kind of how I played this summer league, get the ball off the rim, push it myself, make decisions in the break. Run that high pick-and-roll with D’Angelo and when he drops it off to me, I turn into a point forward. And so I think you’ll see a lot of me and Julius (Randle) playing that Draymond-type role, that decision-making big.”
Speaking of Randle, there has been plenty of speculation as to who should get the lion’s share of minutes at the four spot. However if Nance has his way, the two would mostly be sharing the court, rather than the minutes:
“One thing I hope, and I look forward to doing is playing in the same unit as Julius. That would be, you know, you talk about fast basketball, that right there would be just an athletic 4,5 that can move and defend and so I’m really eager and excited to see just how he does utilizes all our strengths.”
Many fans were calling for this pairing last season, but Byron Scott rarely played them together as the team’s bigs. There will be a lot of competition for minutes up front this season, but a Nance/Randle combo is very intriguing.
While it remains to be seen if Nance’s vision can actually come into fruition, the thought of having two remarkably explosive big men on the court at the same time is a reason for Lakers fans to be excited.