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Lakers News: Larry Nance, Jr. is eager to show his versatility in Luke Walton’s offense

The former first round pick is excited to show fans of Los Angeles what he worked on this summer.

Los Angeles Lakers v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

All of the hours of hard work Larry Nance, Jr. put in this summer were almost destroyed in an instant. The sophomore power forward’s fall at the Thomas and Mack Center to end the Lakers’ penultimate game of Las Vegas Summer League sent murmurs throughout the crowd.

In the hours after, rumors filtered out that Nance, Jr.’s wrist was broken, and while this was worrying for fans of the team, it was more anxiety inducing for Nance, Jr. himself.

“It was pretty scary,” Nance, Jr. told of Time Warner Cable Sportsnet’s Mike Bresnahan of the injury. Fortunately, in a stroke of injury luck that’s been all-too-rare the last few years in Los Angeles, Nance, Jr. found out he was going to be just fine within a matter of weeks. “Originally we thought it was a lot worse than it was, but I'm very thankful that I only got a sprained wrist out of it.”

Nance, Jr. is already back on the court in Los Angeles, and he sounds like he’s ready to start playing in games that count and demonstrate his versatility in new head coach Luke Walton’s system.

“He's bringing that Golden State type of offense where one through four can grab it off the rim and go and start the fast break,” said Nance, Jr. of getting a chance to handle the ball more in transition for the Lakers. “That's a little bit of what we've been working on this summer and I think I feel very comfortable in it, and I'm going to continue to work on that, but it's definitely something that's going to be in the offense. “

Also in the offense? Nance, Jr. shooting some three-pointers, which he says fans will “definitely” see this season. As for how many? He’s deferring to his new boss on that one.

“I think Coach Luke would know better than I do,” Nance, Jr. said when asked how many threes he might attempt. Part of that number will depend on where Walton plays Nance, Jr. the majority of his minutes. The sophomore forward says his versatility will allow him to get minutes at several.

“I don't know [if I will play center],” said Nance, Jr. “I know I can. I know I can play three, four, five, but I just like being out there. So whatever position he puts me at I'll be happy, but I would love to get a little small-ball lineup whether with me at center or Julius at center, and just run.”

A frontcourt of Nance, Jr. and Julius Randle could be incredibly dynamic offensively if the two can make it work on the defensive end. With two bigs that can handle the ball, a lineup like that might not even need a traditional point guard at times. Or perhaps Nance, Jr. can play that role too.

“You know what? I'm expecting play a little bit of one as well,” Nance, Jr. joked. “D'Angelo can sit down, I'm playing point guard.”

His declaration might have been a joke, but Nance, Jr.’s versatility is not. If he maximizes his potential, the two guard spots will be the only ones he doesn’t spend minutes at during his promising career.

You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.

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