Jan 16, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson (1) waits to check into the game against the New York Knicks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeats New York 117- 89. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Trade Rumors: Indiana Pacers may not want to pay to keep Lance Stephenson next season

The Indiana Pacers are the best team in the NBA and they have a solid roster to thank for that. In a league where the focus is on compiling superstars in free agency, the Pacers have crafted a roster that is worthy of a championship thanks to homegrown stardom.

One of the hottest names on the roster is Lance Stephenson, but while the Pacers love the production they’re getting from him at the moment, it could all come back to bite them in the offseason. According to Basketball Insider’s Joel Brigham, the Pacers want to keep Stephenson past this season but may not want to pay what that will cost.

There is a chance that they could offload some other contract or contracts to ensure he remains in Indianapolis, but there’s also a lot of free agency money floating around this summer and Stephenson could command upwards of $11-12 million a season at this point.

It’s pointed out that the better Stephenson continues to play, the more money he’ll likely command in the offseason when he hits the free agent market. It was also pointed out that the Pacers are growing more and more nervous about the luxury tax. Stephenson has stated he wants to stay in Indiana, and not wanting to pay to keep Stephenson what they can’t afford doesn’t mean the Pacers don’t want him.

They’ll have some decisions to make this offseason, but it won’t be that surprising to see the Pacers lose Stephenson to another team.

Tags: Indiana Pacers Lance Stephenson

  • Richard Leeper

    They can go over the cap and not pay the tax on lance because he falls into the birds rights conditions. They can offer more years and still match any offer. Just like they did with hibbert. Grainger will be the loss. His 14 million contract expires after the season. They will let it just fall off the books and can work an easy trade on some bench guys to make up the difference. I dont see the problem. He’s not going anywhere.

    • Yuggy

      The Luxury tax has nothing to do with Bird Rights. They can counter any offer, but thats the whole problem, then they have to about pay twice his salary in luxury tax dollars and potentially lose a huge revenue sharing pay check. The Luxury tax can easily cost owners 10′s of millions of dollars, only mega billionaires are willing to pay it.