Things are changing quickly for the Los Angeles Lakers as they prepare for next season. Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, and Thomas Bryant have been added to the roster, bring an infusion of talented young players.
Even returning players will have some adjustments to make, including reserve power forward Larry Nance Jr. Nance has become a fan favorite for his hustle, defensive chops, and high-flying dunks, but it sounds as though Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka will be expecting more from him next season–a lot more.
On a podcast with Hoops Hype’s Alex Kennedy, Nance explained the goals set for him for next season:
“They really want me to stretch the floor next year, so that’s what I’m working on all summer, is the three-point jump shot. Especially now that we drafted Lonzo, they want me filling that James Worthy role. You know, sprinting up the sideline, being athletic, playing on the wing, and hopefully adding some more posters to my resume.”
Heading into his third season, Nance has far exceeded the expectations that most had when he was selected with the 27th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. He has already become a valuable part of the team’s young core by providing defensive versatility, but if he can get threes to fall with regularity Nance’s value will skyrocket. He only shot 28 percent from downtown last season, so he has his work cut out for him if he wants to get to a respectable level.
As Nance mentioned, he will also be expected to run the floor with Lonzo Ball and is likely to become one of his favorite targets. The fact that he mentions James Worthy is interesting, as it sounds as though Johnson is hoping that Ball will trigger the resurgence of Showtime basketball. If he can, than Nance will certainly have a large role to play.