Eastern Notes: Price, Stephenson, Raptors

A.J. Price has probably played his last game with the Pacers, since the 10-day window of Indiana’s second hardship provision for a 16th roster spot has expired and the team’s injured players are on their way back, observes Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star.

“I’m optimistic it’ll work out, if not here then somewhere else,” Price said. “Everything’s an option at this point. You can’t rule anything out at this point. If I’m not able to get a job here in the NBA, then overseas is definitely an option.”

Of course, the Pacers don’t have to waive Price, whom they picked up when the league granted the extra roster spot, just as the Thunder decided to keep their hardship addition, Ish Smith, and waive Sebastian Telfair instead. While we wait to see how it shakes out in Indiana, here’s the latest from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Hornets coach Steve Clifford has been reluctant to give Lance Stephenson crunch-time minutes in part because he doesn’t think the shooting guard has developed into a marquee player yet, despite the three-year, $27.405MM contract the shooting guard signed this summer. Michael Wallace of ESPN.com has the details. “To be fair, one of the things that’s made it more difficult for him is that he came here and people proclaimed him as the next superstar,” Clifford said. “He’s not a star. He’s a guy that has talent to become a star. To be a star in this league, you have to do it over years.”
  • This summer’s trade for Lou Williams was a win for the Raptors, as they snatched a player who has proven valuable on both ends of the floor so far in Toronto and whose departure has left the Hawks with an underwhelming bench, writes Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun.
  • The Hawks plan to send John Jenkins and Adreian Payne to the D-League on Friday, reports Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It’ll be the second trip to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants for Payne, as our log of D-League assignments and recalls shows, and the first of the season for Jenkins, though he went on assignment in each of the past two seasons.

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