Forward Larry Nance Jr. and the New Orleans Pelicans agreed to a two-year, $21.6 million extension, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Nance Jr. was entering the final year of a four-year, $48 million contract, but the extension will keep him in New Orleans through the 2024-25 season.
“I’m finally healthy,” Nance Jr. said on Pelicans Media Day last week. “I played the end of the season still recovering from the surgery. The meniscus surgery I had, I didn’t realize how long that had been bothering me. I had lost a step, lost a little bit of balance, and all that came back in the summer. I feel good. I feel better than I have the last few years.”
The 29-year-old averaged 7.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 0.9 assists for the Pels after being traded from the Portland Trail Blazers along with CJ McCollum and Tony Snell for Josh Hart, Thomas Satoransky, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker.
The Pels have locked in all their core players, McCollum, Brandon Ingram, and Zion Williamson, to long-term deals.
“In the seven months I’ve been here, I’ve seen a community that is going to rock with this team. If we show love for the city and provide some excitement, the fans will give us that back tenfold,” said Nance Jr.
— Larry Nance Jr (@Larrydn22) October 1, 2022
Nance Jr. excelled in the Pels small ball lineup off the bench and is excited about the upcoming season.
“I’ve gotta put on some padding to deal with this beating I’m gonna take in training camp,” Nance Jr. joked about playing against Williamson. “No one wants to see him exceed more than I do.”
Williamson sat out all last season with injury and has only played in 85 games since being drafted by the Pels in 2019.
Nance Jr. is entering his eighth year in the league, with career averages of 8.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.9 assists.