Lance Stephenson Plans to Stay With the Indiana Pacers

by November 05, 2013

Once he hits the free agent market next summer, Lance Stephenson will be a hot commodity, and could command more money than the Pacers are willing to pay. Stephenson says he’s not going anywhere. From the team website: “Through three games, Stephenson is averaging 19 points while shooting nearly 60 percent from the field and 64 percent from the three-point line, has just five turnovers, and has defended aggressively. Those kind of players tend to get paid in the NBA, and Stephenson will. For him to stay with the Pacers, it seems Stephenson’s self-proclaimed ‘daddy,’ Larry Bird, will have to sacrifice someone or something to bring back his prized draft pick of 2010. But it also seems both parties are willing to make compromises. Their marriage is too fresh and too adoring for it not to continue beyond four years. ‘I don’t think about that,’ Stephenson said after matching his regular season career high with 22 points while hitting a career-high five three-pointers in seven attempts. ‘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.’ Going to stay? Does that mean he would turn down a larger offer to re-sign? ‘I’m staying with the Pacers,’ he said. […] The other question looming over Stephenson is what happens if and when (Danny) Granger returns. Coach Frank Vogel had planned for Granger to start in place of Stephenson if Granger recaptured his level of play prior to his knee issues of last season. Should Granger – who is out with a strained calf muscle – return to that level, would it really make sense to take Stephenson out of the starting lineup? He reiterated his stance following Saturday’s game. ‘Either way,’ he said. ‘If I come off the bench, it doesn’t matter. When we all play together we play great, so it doesn’t matter if I start or come off the bench.'”