HoopsHype Lance Stephenson rumors

June 2, 2014 Updates
June 1, 2014 Updates
May 31, 2014 Updates

In the initial moments after Indiana's 117-92 season-ending loss to the Miami Heat on Friday night, the enigmatic and embattled fourth-year guard said he doesn't want to go anywhere. "I definitely want to be back," Stephenson said. "Right now I can't really, I'm not really focused on that right now. Right now I'm just showing love to my guys and showing how hard we worked. "I wanna come back," he added moments later. "I love Indiana." USA Today Sports

Despite a wave of criticism about Lance Stephenson’s antics during the Eastern Conference Finals, his agent told SNY.tv there will be “no shortage” of suitors for Stephenson this summer when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. “He wants to make the commitment to himself and to his club — whatever club that is — to be the best person and teammate he can possibly be,” Alberto Ebanks, Stephenson’s agent, told SNY.tv by phone Saturday morning. “He is a work in progress.” ZagsBlog.com

Twitter was rampant with speculation during and after Game 6 that Stephenson may have cost himself millions of dollars with his antics, but one former NBA GM told SNY.tv that Stephenson will still “get paid.” “He is going to get paid but I think his options will be limited because of how much maintenance he brings to a franchise,” the executive said. The executive said he thought Stephenson was “more than a mid-level [player] but not a $10-million player.” He added that he’s “probably a $5-$8 million average player.” ZagsBlog.com

But here's the thing: Stephenson has turned off potential free-agent suitors with his unreliability -- ever since being snubbed for the Eastern Conference All-Star team -- as much or more than he's annoyed fellow Pacers. His free-agent market, according to the latest whispers on the personnel grapevine, is already drying up ... and it's not even June 1 yet. ESPN.com

It's pretty instructive to hear that the Dallas Mavericks, as ESPN.com has been reporting since Dallas' first-round playoff exit to San Antonio, do not intend to pursue Stephenson come July. The Mavs could certainly use Stephenson's athleticism, versatility and playmaking and showed everyone last summer -- with the signing of Monta Ellis -- that they're not afraid to take a perceived gamble. But it's pretty telling when the risk-taking Mavs, after the combination of Dirk Nowitzki and Rick Carlisle brought the best out of Ellis, aren't eager to see if they can't do the same with Lance. ESPN.com

Indiana Pacers guard/professional antagonist Lance Stephenson maybe might have been going for the ball on this swipe to Miami Heat guard Norris Cole’s face during the Eastern Conference finals’ sixth game. Maybe. Probably not, but hey, ESPN’s Mike Breen thought it might not have been intentional. The referees disagreed and turned a personal foul into a Flagrant 1, which means he gets ejected if he picks up a second one. For The Win

Pacers president Larry Bird condemned Stephenson’s odd decision to blow in the ear of LeBron James in Game 5, and head coach Frank Vogel expressed a similar sentiment following the whole host of things that Stephenson tried to do to mess with his opponent in Game 6. “It’s tough to say,” Vogel said, when asked if Stephenson’s antics hurt more than they helped. “I don’t think it’s ever good … what’s everybody call it? Tug on Superman’s cape. I don’t think that’s ever good. But I’ll take Lance Stephenson’s competitive edge. Like I said, I just don’t think it’s good to tug on the cape.” NBCSports.com

“I’m going to f— you up,” Haslem clearly said, followed by either “That’s real” or “I swear,” depending on your current level of lip-reading skills. Haslem didn’t play at all in the first half, but he may get some run in garbage time if the game remains this out of hand. It’s unlikely he does anything that would earn him a suspension that would carry over into the Finals, but the threat is real, and Stephenson likely knows it. NBCSports.com

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