Former Indiana Pacers’ guard Lance Stephenson was offered a five-year, $44 million deal to remain with the Pacers but he was upset with the offer and eventually signed a three-year, $27 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets. In response to the loss, the Pacers signed former Detroit Pistons’ guard Rodney Stuckey to a one-year, minimum deal.
And when it comes to Stephenson’s replacement, free-agent pickup Rodney Stuckey, George said this: “Stuckey is going to be a player that changes his whole career around. He’s a system guy that fits right into what we do. He plays defense, he knows how to play the pick-and-roll. Stuckey is going to step right into [Stephenson's] role.”
Stuckey is no Stephenson — the fact that the Pacers got him on a one-year minimum contract three weeks into July says enough about that. But George’s references to Stuckey being a “system guy” are not fluff. Stephenson’s bouts of ball-hoggery and periods of blatant stat-chasing were not part of the Pacers’ system. Stephenson occasionally won them some games because he was impervious to some of the outside influences that weighed the team down, but it came at a cost.
George averaged 21.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.9 steals per while shooting 42.4% from the field, 36.4% from beyond the arc and 86.4% from the charity stripe. In the postseason, he put up 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.2 steals per game while shooting 43.8% from the field, 40.3% from three and 78.9% from the free throw line. Stuckey averaged 13.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game while shooting 43.6% from the field, 27.3% from beyond the arc and 83.6% from his charity stripe last season. In career, Stuckey has averaged 13.4 points, 3.9 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game while shooting 42.3% from the floor, 28.6% from beyond the arc and 82.8% from the free throw line.