The Indiana Pacers lost Lance Stephenson to the Charlotte Hornets earlier this morning, but they might be closing in on his replacement.
According to a report from ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Pacers are expressing serious interest in signing free agent shooting guard Rodney Stuckey. There have been some rumors all offseason long that the Pacers could look to Stuckey if they lost Stephenson, and that appears to be exactly what is happening.
Also hearing Pacers are expressing serious interest in Rodney Stuckey to fill backcourt void created by Lance Stephenson’s move to Charlotte
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 16, 2014
Stuckey certainly wouldn’t be a bad pickup for the Pacers, but he wouldn’t be the fix that the Pacers are looking for either. Losing Stephenson is going to hurt them in a major way as far as playmaking goes, and they will still need to make another move if they want to be able to compete for a championship. That being said, Stuckey will immediately slide in as the starting shooting guard with C.J. Miles coming off of the bench as his backup.
Last season with the Detroit Pistons, Stuckey played in 73 regular season games and started in just five of those appearances. He averaged 13.9 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game, and was a solid defender as well. Unfortunately for the Pacers, he does not have the same type of playmaking ability that Stephenson has, nor is he able to rebound the ball as efficiently.
Overall, this wouldn’t be a bad move to help replace Stephenson, but Larry Bird will need to be looking for another move as well. Stuckey is a very solid starter, but he is not the type of player that can take the Pacers to the next level. Don’t be surprised to see this signing progress and end up happening, but Bird and the Pacers cannot be satisfied with what they have even after this move.