Indiana Pacers free agent guard Lance Stephenson turned down a five-year, $44 million contract nearly a week ago, and the two sides remain far apart on a deal, reports ESPN’s Chris Broussard.
“Though his desire is to remain with the Pacers, a disappointed Stephenson began exploring the free-agent market after receiving what he felt was a low-ball offer last Tuesday, sources said.”
Stephenson believes he will be an All-Star next season and thinks he is worth more than the $7.6 million the Pacers’ offer would pay him.
But the Pacers have not increased their offer and have picked up a few pieces in free agency. The Pacers agreed with guard C.J. Miles on a four-year, $18 million contract and also added Croatian forward Damjan Rudez and center Lavoy Allen this offseason.
If Stephenson and the Pacers are unable to agree to a new deal, Broussard reports that the Dallas Mavericks have emerged as a team interested in the 23-year-old.
“Dallas is intrigued by Stephenson’s versatility. He led the NBA in triple-doubles last season and his 7.2 rebounds per game, highest among the league’s guards, could help a Mavericks team that was among the league’s worst in rebounding.”
Stephenson, a four-year veteran, averaged 13.8 points and 4.6 assists in 78 games played last season.