Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com explained that Nance’s recent performances served as solid reasons why the veteran was so popular in trade circles.
“Why playoff contenders — New Orleans, Miami, Dallas, Boston and Philadelphia — were desperately trying to pry him (Nance) away,” Fedor wrote. “Why the Cavs were determined to keep him, turning down at least one offer with multiple late first-round picks. Why the organization considers him a core piece despite being a 28-year-old part-time starter (coming off the bench when Kevin Love is healthy) on a kid-friendly roster.”
On the night before Thursday’s trade deadline, Nance scored 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. He then followed that performance up on Friday evening with 17 points and 10 boards. On Saturday, Nance narrowly missed his third consecutive double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds.
Since returning from injury after the All-Star break, the 28-year-old Nance has scored in double figures seven times in 10 games.
While that stretch has only resulted in three victories for the Cavaliers, Nance’s performances show why the team had no interest in helping boost the fortunes of other teams by dealing him away.
Cavs head coach J B. Bickerstaff is certainly appreciative of what Nance offers the team, including making the effort to lead the young squad.
“It’s his leadership and versatility,” Bickerstaff said. “He’s willing to take whatever role we give him. Whatever we need him to do, he has the skill set and the tools to do it, and the competitive edge as well. When you’ve got a guy who is in a leadership position and is willing to do uncomfortable things, it makes it easier on us as coaches to ask other guys to do it as well.”
Nance is in his third full season with the Cavaliers. He appears to be in no hurry to leave the team that he grew up rooting for, and the team appears determined to keep him around.