Over the past few days, momentum has been building for the Indiana Pacers to bring back shooting guard Lance Stephenson. Interestingly enough, this potential reunion could happen in the near future.
After the Memphis Grizzlies did not pick up his option for 2016-17 season, Stephenson became an unrestricted free agent. As a result, Pacers’ President Larry Bird is looking at Stephenson as a possible free agent acquisition.
Indianapolis Star’s Nate Taylor was the first report that the two sides were interested in a potential reunion.
In his report, Taylor says he heard from sources that Stephenson consider Indianapolis “home” and that “he absolutely loves the town and the organization.”
More from Indiana Pacers
- Still Searching for Their Groove, Pacers Take on Struggling Magic Thursday Night
- Pacers Travel to the Nation’s Capital to Begin Four Game Road Trip
- Update on Pacers’ Oladipo’s Serious Leg Injury
- Can the Indiana Pacers Be the Best Team in the Eastern Conference?
- The Magic of Myles Turner’s New Glorious Ponytail
Stephenson still has a good relationship with Pacers’ star Paul George and team President Larry Bird. There are a lot of signs of mutual interest, and the Pacers have enough money left over to sign Stephenson.
The Pacers have $10 million in cap space available. Seeing as how the Grizzlies declined Stephenson’s $10 million team option, it is safe to say he is within the Pacers’ price range.
The Pacers selected Stephenson 40th overall in the 2010 NBA Draft. He was a high-energy player for them from 2010 to 2014. He was also a key contributor for the Pacers in the 2013 and 2014 Eastern Conference Finals runs.
On the flip side, Stephenson high-energy play often time got him into trouble. He sometimes took wild shots and turned the ball over in bunches at times. He also had a lot of on-the-court antics attached to him. For example, everyone remembers him blowing into the ear of LeBron James.
After leaving the Indiana Pacers in 2014, Stephenson has jumped around the league. The Charlotte Hornets traded him to the Los Angeles Clippers a year after signing him to a three-year, $27 million deal. The Clippers then traded him to Grizzlies at the trade deadline of last season.
Clearly, Stephenson’s best years of his career were with the Indiana Pacers. For this reason, it would be great to see Stephenson back in a Pacers’ uniform; especially with this current roster.
Indiana Pacers’ Roster as of July 4th:
Stephenson would instantly be in the rotation for the Pacers at the start of the season and could potentially start over Ellis at shooting guard.
A reunion between the Indiana Pacers and Lance Stephenson would be interesting to see. Both sides would benefit from this potential deal, which is why it would not be shocking to see it happen soon.