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NBA news: Larry Nance Jr names 76ers, Celtics, Jazz and Lakers aces as FOUR stars to watch | Other | Sport

Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Nance Jr, 25, is set to embark on his fifth campaign as a pro this week.

And this year he will be eager to play a key role as Tyronn Lue’s squad look to go one better than last term’s playoffs finals defeat.

Nance has six team-mates that are his junior and they will need to shine too for the Cavaliers to win a second NBA title.

Nance has now named four prospects plying their trade with the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers respectively that he is expecting big things from as the season unfolds.

“You have to start with the big three rookies,” Nance Jr told BBC Sport, when asked who basketball’s rising stars are.

“Ben Simmons was outstanding last year. He’s almost like a mini LeBron [James] – he plays like LeBron did early in his career.

“Then you’ve got Jayson Tatum. We got to play against him in the play-offs. He is extremely impressive.

“Donovan Mitchell is going to be really good for years to come, with everything he can do scoring-wise and playmaking.

“One of my old team-mates who doesn’t get mentioned enough is Kyle Kuzma. He’s probably the best rookie in terms of scoring; he can really light it up.”

Larry Nance Jr is donning the No 22 this season – the same jersey his dad wore for the Cavaliers.

And he’s revealed what it means to him to be following in Nance Sr’s footsteps.

“It was a dream come true,” Nance Jr added, when asked about the switch.

“As a kid, I had my dad’s jersey on all the time and it was just cool that it was ‘Nance 22’ and it’s up in the rafters.

“The one request I made is that if I did get to wear the 22 they left the jersey up in the rafters – and they did, so every game I get to play underneath it, which is really cool.”

The Cleveland Cavaliers get the new NBA season underway on Wednesday night when they take on Toronto Raptors.

Lue’s side came out on top twice in their three games against the Raptors last season.

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