Miami Heat Interested in ‘Most Underrated Player in the NBA’: Report

Larry Nance Jr trade

Getty Larry Nance Jr. #22 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks to pass against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on March 10, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois.

Another day, another power forward linked to the Miami Heat in a possible trade deal, and according to Cleveland.com‘s Chris Fedor, they are interested in obtaining Cavaliers’ Larry Nance Jr.

The 28-year-old power forward fits the bill of what the Heat is looking for in order to obtain a solid fourth. At 6-foot-7, he’s not the big man to play opposite of All-Star Bam Adebayo, but he could provide consistency at forward, something for which the Heat desperately need.

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According to Fedor, Miami is just one of the teams with high interest in the former first-round pick. The Minnesota Timberwolves have been “aggressively” pursuing Nance since before the 2020-2021 NBA started, and now the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, and the New Orleans Pelicans also have their eye on Nance.

Amid all the hype, it doesn’t appear that the Cavaliers are willing to trade Nance, who Cavalier Nation’s Justin Benjamin dubbed “one of the most underrated players in the NBA,” before the March 25 deadline.

Sam Amico of FortyEightMinutes.com reported, “Several contenders are expected to try to make a run at power forward Larry Nance Jr., but sources have said the Cavs have no desire to move the Akron native.”

GettyLarry Nance Jr. #22 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots over Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on January 28, 2020.

Fedor noted that Nance isn’t expected to be traded before the deadline unless Cleveland is “completely blown away” by an offer, but that teams have expressed more interest in him than any other Cavaliers players believed to be available such as Cedi Osman, Taurean Prince and JaVale McGee.


Nance Is Not Enjoying Seeing His Name in Mock Trade Reports

If Nance was to have a say in whether or not he’d be traded out of Cleveland, the answer at the moment is hard no. On March 6, Nance tweeted, “Hope everyone is having a happy Friday….. except those people that keep putting me in their mock trades.”

Most NBA players do not enjoy seeing their name mentioned as an expendable part of their team, but Nance, who was born and raised in Akron, Ohio, and whose father played with the Cleveland for several years, has said in February that he’d like to retire as a Cavalier.

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Nance first joined Cleveland after being acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers halfway through the 2017-2018 season. In 2018, he signed a four-year, $45 million contract extension.

The son of three-time NBA All-Star Larry Nance Sr. was enjoying a solid season before a fractured finger forced him on the sidelines. Before his injury, he was averaging 9.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game. The last game he played was against the Milwaukee Bucks on February 6.

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