The Indiana Pacers have been trying to re-sign Lance Stephenson all offseason long, but it appears that two other teams are beginning to show serious interest in signing him.
According to a report from Pacers beat reporter Scott Agness, the Charlotte Hornets and Dallas Mavericks are showing increasing interest in signing Stephenson. It isn’t too surprising that teams are starting to turn to Stephenson as a top target, but it all depends on how much money they are willing to offer him.
With Luol Deng off to Miami, options are getting slimmer. Dallas and Charlotte remain real contenders with the Pacers for Lance Stephenson.
— Scott Agness (@ScottAgness) July 13, 2014
Indiana offered Stephenson a five-year contract worth $44 million over those five seasons, but he was disappointed in that offer and turned it down. If the Hornets or Mavericks decided to offer him a deal that was worth around $10 million annually, they would probably be able to get something done fairly quick. There are concerns about Stephenson’s antics on and off the court, but his talent and potential are going to begin to shine through at this point in free agency.
Stephenson played in and started 78 regular season games last season with the Pacers, averaging 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game. He improved on the defensive side of the basketball last season as well, but still has work to do in that area. Despite some of the character issues that he has displayed, he still possesses a future with the potential of being a true star.
Overall, it will be very interesting to see what happens with Stephenson over the next few days. It won’t be too much longer before he finds a team that offers a deal that he’s looking for, and he won’t wait forever to make his decision. The Pacers still want him back very badly, but they are going to have to up their offer if they want to get something done.