#27 Los Angeles Lakers: Larry Nance Jr.

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With the 27th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers selected Wyoming power forward Larry Nance Jr.

At just about 6’9, Nance provides additional athleticism and versatility to a young, but burgeoning frontcourt for the Lakers. Nance averaged 16.5 points (50.7 percent FG) and 7.3 rebounds per contest for the Cowboys last season. Nance may be a bit undersized for a power forward and will certainly have to work on adding strength and a bit of bulk to his frame to hang with some of the bigger bodies in the post, but his 7’1.5 wingspan and explosive athleticism allow him to be effective around and above the rim on both ends of the court.

Beyond overcoming the difficulties that come along with making it to the NBA, Nance also had to overcome the effects of Crohn’s Disease throughout his life as well. Our Alex Kennedy, who also has Crohn’s Disease, broke down just how much of a battle it has been for Nance to overcome in this longform piece.

Nance has a strong mid-range game and can definitely finish above the rim, but it will be interesting to see if the Lakers look to utilize him as a bit of a hybrid-four, asking him to be able to stretch the floor. Nance shot 34.1 percent from deep in his final year at Wyoming, but only attempted 1.4 per contest. He did, however, shoot 77.8 percent from the free throw line and has a very promising shooting stroke for a big man. At the NBA Draft Combine, he rebounded the ball very well and made a lot of hustle plays that turned heads.

The selection may have been a bit earlier than some might have anticipated, but Nance definitely seems like a good fit for what the Lakers are trying to put together.