Jan 22, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (left) and guard Lance Stephenson against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana Pacers players wanted a better offer for Lance Stephenson

The Indiana Pacers players weren’t what you’d’ define as embracing of Lance Stephenson’s antics in the Eastern Conference Finals but they apparently calmed down and realized that they wanted him a little too late.

Indiana had two offers out to Stephenson that were both rejected but those rejections didn’t come before some Pacers players stepped up and went to bat for their now former teammate.

Accord to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News, the Pacers players wanted the team to sweeten the standing offer to Stephenson so he wouldn’t reject it but that deal sweetener never came. Instead, Stephenson has now walked to the Charlotte Hornets who are suddenly a major threat in the Eastern Conference.

The Pacers made an offer of five years and $44 million to Stephenson, and while his teammates in Indiana attempted to nudge the Pacers into finding a way to make a better offer and keep Stephenson, management did not budge.

The loss of Stephenson seriously hurts the Pacers chances of making it deep into the Eastern Conference playoffs now, as not only do they need to get through LeBron James in their own division but they now need to get through Stephenson and the Hornets — which is something no one ever thought we’d be saying.

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Tags: Charlotte Hornets Indiana Pacers Lance Stephenson

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