MARCH 30, 2:31pm: The Pacers have officially signed Stephenson, the team announced today in a press release.
“We’re very happy to have Lance back as part of our team,” Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird said in a statement. “We always knew he wanted to come back here, and we feel now is the right time, not only for the rest of this season, but moving forward. We look forward to having a long relationship with him, because we know what he can bring to our franchise, both on and off the court.”
MARCH 29, 11:54am: The Pacers and Stephenson are in agreement on a three-year, $12MM deal, reports Chris Haynes of ESPN.com (via Twitter). According to Haynes, the first two years are guaranteed, while the third is a team option. Adam Zagoria was the first to report the agreement between the two sides, as noted below.
11:35am: The Pacers are working on a deal to bring Lance Stephenson back to Indiana, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link). Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog indicates that the two sides have already finalized a three-year deal with a player option in year three, though the team has yet to confirm anything.
The Pacers opened up a spot on their roster today when they waived veteran guard Rodney Stuckey. With Al Jefferson and Glenn Robinson III also on the shelf, Indiana has some holes in its rotation, opening the door for a player like Stephenson to return to the club. While the coaching staff isn’t the same one that worked with Stephenson during his first stint with the Pacers, the front office is familiar with him.
Stephenson, 26, enjoyed a breakout season for the Pacers in 2013/14, averaging 13.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 4.6 APG. However, he has bounced around the league since then and hasn’t delivered on the promise he showed during his final year in Indiana.
After playing for the Hornets, Clippers, and Grizzlies in previous years, Stephenson started this season with the Pelicans, but was waived after suffering a groin injury. The veteran swingman later caught on with the Timberwolves on a pair of 10-day deals, though his stint in Minnesota was derailed by injuries as well. As of mid-March, the Wolves were willing to let him go as he continued to deal with an ankle issue.
Assuming the Pacers and Stephenson do finalize a multiyear deal, the Pacers have the flexibility to offer more than two years and more than the minimum salary, since they remain under the cap. As our Salary Cap Snapshot shows, Indiana has more than $4MM in cap room available. Typically, veteran free agents who sign late in the season prefer one-year contracts so that they can return to the open market in the summer, but that extra cap space gives the Pacers the flexibility to make a multiyear deal worth Stephenson’s while.
Although Stephenson signed with the Wolves after March 1, he’ll retain his playoff eligibility for Indiana, since his deal with Minnesota was a 10-day pact.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
16 thoughts on “Pacers Sign Lance Stephenson”
Lance is a beast he will do good coming back this will be good
That’s great hopefully Nate will utilize Lance in the system the right way. However if management taking chances why not reaching out to Chris Bosh? I know wishful thinking!!
Because he’s still on the Heat
Yeah but everyone knows they’re medically retiring him or whatever it’s called in the offseason.
It doesn’t matter, he’s still under contract with them, so until they officially make that move, he’s their property
Right I just assumed he meant later on, not right now. I could be wrong.
I just wanna watch him whisper sweet nothings in BronBron’s ear…
If he’s healthy, he’d actually help them. He gives them some needed size at the guard/wing, and some disruption in those spots as well. They could use his tenacity, especially defensively. Good move, as that’s even more important while Glenn Robinson III is out
Wowww I was just speaking about this in a previous article. This is what Larry should have done from the start, Lance will flourish in Indy and keep Pauly G around now since they both know how good they were together.
Great move by Indiana bad signing by lance.
What? He couldn’t get a 1 year deal in the offseason and he just got himself $12 million dollars. But yeah. He’s got a horrible agent.
12 million is chump change with this new CBA. What if he has a good playoffs and coul get more money? That is the reason why Indiana made him commit to a 3 year deal.
But guaranteeing yourself $12 million dollars after not being able to secure a 1 year deal for most of the season is incredible. Should Briante Weber turn down $12 million dollars because he “might have a good playoffs?” I picked him because they’ve both been on 10 day contracts this year. I can’t imagine anyone has ever gotten hurt on a 10 day contract and parlayed it into $12 million dollars in the same season with nothing to suggest he got significantly better in between. This is a great deal for Lance.
12 million is a lot to a guy that was just accepting 10 day contracts
so happy for lance he’s gonna do big things. love him