Forward Larry Nance Jr. and the New Orleans Pelicans have reached an agreement on a two-year extension worth $21.6 million, according to Mark Bartelstein, Nance’s agent, on Saturday.
“Larry has fallen in love with New Orleans and the entire Pelicans organization — front office, coaching, players,” Bartelstein said. “He’s really, really excited about what’s ahead for this team and he wanted to be a part of it. So, it was important to him to try to get a deal done.”
According to Bartelstein, the agreement, which ESPN first reported, lasts until the 2024–2025 season. The power forward Zion Williamson, the high-scoring wing Brandon Ingram, and the guard CJ McCollum are all under contract for at least the next three seasons, which puts Nance in a position to play for a team that includes them.
“The organization is outstanding,” Nance said after practice on Saturday while standing next to Williamson and Ingram. “I took the chance to extend my stay and I’m very fortunate to be playing alongside these two.
“You don’t grow up wanting to play regular season games. It’s playoffs. And that’s what it’s all about,” Nance added. “This team has a chance to do that for the long haul.”
The Los Angeles Lakers selected Nance, 29, in the late first round of the 2015 NBA Draft after he excelled for Wyoming in college. His career averages are 8.1 points and 6.5 rebounds. He has previously played for Cleveland and Portland.
Williamson, the top overall pick in the 2019 draft and a 2021 All-Star who was forced to miss his whole third season due to a foot injury, was not a part of the Pelicans’ playoff run last year.
Williamson, who is now practicing at full speed, praised the continuity the Pelicans are attempting to achieve by having a number of starters or notable role players under contract for the upcoming few seasons.
“It’s great to see that because I know, especially for me, my first three years … it was always a different cast,” Williamson said. “To see some vet guys want to stay around and try to build something special, it means a lot.”
Willie Green, the Pelicans’ second-year coach, stated that the team wished to retain Nance “in the fold for many years to come.”
“I’m happy for Larry,” Green said. “It was great to see that (deal) get done.”