Trail Blazers acquire Larry Nance Jr. from Cleveland in three-way trade sending Derrick Jones Jr. and first-round pick to Chicago

The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired forward Larry Nance Jr. from the Cleveland Cavaliers in a three-way deal with Cleveland and Chicago, sending Derrick Jones Jr. and a lottery-protected first-round pick to the Bulls.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania first reported the news.

While both are high-flying dunkers, Larry Nance is a big improvement on the departing Derrick Jones Jr. Nance averaged 9.3 PPG, 6.7 REB, 3 AST, and over a steal-and-a-half in the 2020/21 campaign with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Jones Jr was exciting to start his Blazer career but his number and minutes faded, so much so he was a DNP in multiple playoff games against Denver.

One of the most attractive aspects of acquiring Nance is that the productive PF/C is on a contract that descends with value (10.6 million in 2021/22 and 9.6 million in 2022/23).

While Nance makes about the same as Jones Jr and the draft pick is lottery protected on Portland’s end, it is still, by all means, a win-now move giving away another first-rounder similar to what they did last summer for Robert Covington. The backup frontcourt spots will now presumably be a mix of Nance and Cody Zeller, a massive improvement defensively from Carmelo Anthony and Enes Kanter.

More details on the lottery-protected first-round pick that Portland is sending to Chicago.

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