Indiana Pacers’ guard Lance Stephenson is set to become a free agent on Tuesday.
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After the Pacers were defeated by the Miami Heat in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals, Pacers’ star swingman Paul George was asked if he wanted Stephenson to return and responded “I don’t know.” George has since clarified those comments.
“I think that was taken way out of context,” George said via Conrad Brunner of 1070 The Fan. “Obviously, me and Lance have been here four years together. I would love to continue to keep playing with Lance. When I said ‘I don’t know,’ I was speaking on what he’s going to do. I don’t know what he’s going to do, I don’t know what our front office is going to do and at the end of the day that’s my decision. I went through (contract talks), it was tough, but I would love to see No. 1 back here in a Pacers uniform.”
In fact, George thinks the Pacers’ core can win a title.
“I like the core that we’ve got,” George said. “You don’t find that in the NBA where your starting five has been together for a couple of years. A lot of guys like to move around. In that aspect, I love it. We’ve got the pieces to win a championship. Someway, somehow, we’ve just got to find a way to put it all together.”
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. 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 free throw line 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 three and 71.4% from the charity stripe.