Lance Stephenson is one of the most enigmatic personalities to come through the NBA in recent years. Now, the former Indiana Pacers standout is looking to make a comeback.
Stephenson was one of the top high school players in the country coming out of Brooklyn in the late 2000s. He attended Cincinnati for one year, winning Big East Rookie of the Year in 2010, before declaring for the NBA Draft. He was a pretty productive wing for the Pacers from 2010-14, before hitting free agency after turning down a five-year, $44 million offer.
He’d wind up bouncing between teams over the next seven years, landing with the Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, Minnesota Timberwolves, a second stint with the Pacers, and the Los Angeles Lakers. In 2019-20, he played for the Chinese Basketball Association’s Liaoning Flying Leopards.
Now, Lance Stephenson is set to restart his career stateside. He is only 30 years old, and wants to prove that he still has what it takes to contribute at the highest level. In March, he was reportedly in talks to return to the Pacers for a third stint, but it did not materialize.
— Evan Doherty (@YSportsEvan) August 13, 2021
As Chris Haynes reports, the Brooklyn Nets, Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks, and Philadelphia 76ers were set to attend Stephenson’s private workout in Las Vegas. It’s an impressive assemblage of NBA contenders.
The Nets, Stephenson’s hometown club, Bucks, and 76ers are the three top teams in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee is coming off of an NBA title, while the Nets and Sixers are retooling for runs at a championship in 2022. The Nuggets have been a consistent Western Conference contender in recent years, and had last season’s MVP in Nikola Jokic.
Stephenson has averaged 8.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists during his NBA career, shooting 44.4/31.5/68.5 during his first decade in the league. His best year came in 2013-14, the final season of his first stint with the Pacers, during which he averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game, and played a career high 35.3 minutes per night.