Lance Stephenson is off to a hot start for the Pacers, further underscoring the dilemma the team will face in the summer when the shooting guard’s bargain contract runs out. Stephenson nonetheless swears to Mark Montieth of Pacers.com that he’ll be back in Indiana, despite the team’s cramped financial picture.
“I don’t think about that,” Stephenson said about his impending free agency. “It’s a long season, I’m not thinking nothing about contracts. I’m going to stay with the Pacers, so I’m not even thinking about the contract.”
It’s not uncommon for a player to declare allegiance to his franchise when he’s months away from free agency, only to change his mind when the money’s on the table. While we wait to see if Stephenson is true to his word, here’s more from the NBA:
- Bobcats owner Michael Jordan wants to see the NBA implement rules that would compel more draft prospects to work out for teams, and is encouraged that the new collective bargaining agreement is making it tough on superstar-laden clubs. Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer shares that and more from Jordan in the leftovers from their interview this week.
- Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, in his weekly roundup, believes the recently-waived Kendall Marshall could interest a rebuilding team, but counts the Celtics out as a possibility, given their luxury tax concerns.
- Whether Michael Beasley and Greg Oden have an effect on the Heat won’t be evident until later in the season, writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, who wonders if Chris Andersen has the stamina to produce all year long.