Hornets Sign Lance Stephenson

FRIDAY, 12:09pm: The deal is official, the team announced via press release:

“We are extremely excited to add Lance to our team,” Hornets GM Rich Cho said. “He is a great up-and-coming player with an incredibly high ceiling. He is an exceptional athlete who has the versatility and skill to play multiple positions on both offense and defense. We believe he will be an outstanding addition to our roster.”

WEDNESDAY, 8:07am: The Hornets will sign Lance Stephenson to a three-year deal, reports Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. It’s worth $27.5MM, according to Shams Charania of RealGM. The value of the deal is $9MM in the first two seasons and $9.5MM in the final year. Both Bonnell and Charania refer to that third season as a team option, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a non-guaranteed year instead, since few veteran free agent deals include team options.

NBA: Playoffs-Indiana Pacers at Washington WizardsThe agreement is for fewer years and less money than the five year, $44MM offer the Pacers made, but the average annual value is slightly greater. There were conflicting reports about Charlotte’s interest in Stephenson immediately after talks between thee Pacers and the Alberto Ebanks client hit a snag. In any case, the Hornets made a push late Tuesday, as owner Michael Jordan, GM Rich Cho, coach Steve Clifford and other Hornets officials met with Stephenson in Las Vegas, and the sides quickly came to a deal, as Charania details.

Stephenson came close to signing with the Mavs, and he was finalizing a deal with them before the Rockets decided against matching the Dallas offer sheet for Chandler Parsons, Charania reports. The Pistons, Bucks, Lakers and Bulls all made contact with Stephenson, too, according to Charania.

The news is a blow to the Pacers, and president of basketball operations Larry Bird in particular, who had reportedly been fond of the temperamental 23-year-old shooting guard. Bird hinted during the season that re-signing Stephenson was a priority for the club, and Stephenson made plenty of indications that he intended to come back. Still, the Pacers set a price ceiling that they steadfastly wouldn’t exceed, and once talks with Stephenson came to an impasse, they made a series of agreements that largely eliminated their space beneath the luxury tax threshold, a line the team has refused to cross in recent years.

The Hornets are using cap room to come to the agreement. They had reportedly been likely to make an amnesty waiver claim on Carlos Boozer using their cap space. The Stephenson deal probably takes them out of the running for Boozer, though that’s just my speculation.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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10 thoughts on “Hornets Sign Lance Stephenson

  1. guccci7383

    hornets still havent address there lack of shooting to spread the floor for big Al

    • Kevin6CD

      Hairston’s an average outside shooter, Jeff Taylor is probably in the same boat, if healthy. Lance is great in catch-and-shoot situations. They don’t have Korver or anything, but those three are improvements over last year.

  2. Z....

    I thought he would get somewhere between $9-$11 million per…Great signing by MJ and the Hornets. Exactly what they needed and I called it from the beginning of the offseason. They lost Josh McRoberts, but they brought in Marvin Williams to replace his shooting, and Stephenson replaces his playmaking while also providing the shooting they need and scoring from the 2 guard spot. They were a top 5 defense last year, which I’m not sure is repeatable, but this team should be very good in the upcoming season

    How salty do you think the Indiana Pacers are right now? lol

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