The Los Angeles Lakers are likely to shut Larry Nance Jr. down for the remainder of the season after the rookie forward’s troublesome right knee forced him to sit out for most of the team’s loss to Milwaukee Bucks on Monday.
With only 24 games left in the regular season, the decision would make sense since Nance is considered a vital cog going into the next season. Nance, who has impressed one and all with his athleticism and rebounding, played only 9 minutes against the Bucks before being taken out for precautionary reasons.
Nance and sophomore Julius Randle have split games as the team’s starting Power Forward. While Nance has started 22 games for the Purple & Gold, Randle has started 36 of his 57 games after missing most of his rookie year with a season-ending injury. Both Randle and Nance figure in the Lakers’ long-term plans as they look to return to relevancy next season.
According to ESPN, Lakers coach Byron Scott and trainer Gary Vitti have had discussions about sitting Nance out for the rest of the season to let his knee heal. “We’ve talked about it, they’ve talked about it, but at the same time, at this point right now, it’s precautionary,” Nance said about being possibly shut down for the rest of the season.
Lakers know Nance is injury-prone…
Nance has a history of troublesome injuries. During his junior season at the University of Wyoming, the second-generation player tore his ACL. Luckily, he won’t be needing any surgery this offseason and would just need time to heal the soreness on his knee, according to Lakers management.
Recently, Reggie Miller stated that Nance Jr. had the most promising future among all the young Lakers – including D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson. Coming from an all-time great such as Miller, that is some high praise for the young forward.
Larry Nance Jr. is the son of former Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns superstar Larry Nance, who played fourteen seasons in the NBA between 1981 and 1994. Lakers drafted him with the 27th pick in the 2015 Draft.