When free agency opened, the Indiana Pacers knew they had a big decision on their hands when guard Lance Stephenson became an unrestricted free agent. The Pacers reportedly offered him a five-year, $44 million deal that he turned down. He wound up signing a three-year, $27.4 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets to try and provide the scoring punch the Hornets need.
Cray Allred of Hoops Rumors believes the Pacers will really regret letting Stephenson go.
Had Paul George‘s injury occurred before free agency, the Pacers might have been more willing to meet Stephenson’s demands. Instead, they let arguably their most versatile offensive piece walk, refusing to improve their five-year, $44MM offer before the combo guard signed with the Hornets for three years and $27.4MM. Rodney Stuckey and C.J. Miles are the incoming guards Indiana hopes can lessen the combined loss of Stephenson and now George. The Pacers also seeking Shawn Marion‘s services, but aren’t expected to win out over the Cavs in that pursuit.
Stephenson averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game this season while shooting 49.1% from the field, 35.2% from beyond the arc and 71.1% from the charity stripe in the regular season. In the postseason, he put up 13.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. He shot 45.5% from the field, 35.8% from downtown and 71.4% from the free throw line. In his four-year career, he has averaged 9.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game while shooting 46.7% from the field, 32.5% from three and 71.1% from the free throw line.
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