The Grizzlies declined Lance Stephenson‘s $9.4MM team option, making him an unrestricted free agent, sources told Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link). Memphis is interested in re-signing Stephenson but other teams will pursue him, Charania adds.
Stephenson was traded by the Hornets last summer to the Clippers in exchange for Spencer Hawes and Matt Barnes. He was shipped to the Grizzlies at the trade deadline, along with a future first-round pick, for Jeff Green. Stephenson had a good run with the Grizzlies, averaging 14.2 points and 4.4 rebounds in 26 games for a club decimated by injuries. He averaged 13.0 points in the playoffs when the Grizzlies were swept by the Spurs in the Western Conference playoffs.
He wasn’t a factor for the Clippers, averaging 4.7 points in 43 games.
This isn’t Stephenson’s first foray into the free agent market. He left the Pacers to sign a three-year, $27MM contract with the Hornets in 2014. The 6’5” swingman was a huge disappointment in his lone season with Charlotte, averaging 8.2 points while shooting 37.6% from the field.
The Grizzlies have plenty of small forwards and shooting guards on the roster, pending free agency, though several are in the waning years of their careers. That group includes Jordan Adams, Tony Allen, Matt Barnes, Vince Carter, P.J. Hairston and rookie Rade Zagorac.