NBA rumors: Lance Stephenson to play for Nuggets' G League team

More on Lance Stephenson Free Agency

Scott Agness: Lance Stephenson went through a workout for teams today in Las Vegas. A few had interest in bringing him on for SL. He’s been working out in Indy. What he’s highlighting - maturity - eagerness to be vet on team, help young guys - in incredible shape - do whatever it takes to win
Stephenson has been reportedly shooting 500 threes a day, 100 at a time, and making 85 to the low 90s of them consistently. Associates say he has matured after being a teammate of LeBron James and Rajon Rondo with the Lakers. Hopefully, he gets another chance because his skills suit this era of playing small forwards and big shooting guards at power forward.
The Brooklyn native, who turns 30 in September, was “99 percent” set to sign a deal with the Indiana Pacers before the pandemic hit in March, but was not permitted to sign with the league after spending the first part of this season in China, he and his agent said Friday in a joint phone interview. “Yeah, definitely, I wanted to play in Orlando,” Stephenson said.
Reggie Brown, his agent with Priority Sports, said Stephenson was on the brink of re-signing with the Pacers in March. “We were in serious conversations for a third-time’s-a-charm return to the Pacers,” Brown said. “We were offered buyout money from the team in China from the Pacers and we were 99 percent done. And then the pandemic took place, and the NBA decided that no overseas players would be allowed to participate in the 22-team bubble return. They would only take players who played last season or this season in the NBA and/or the G League.”
He is currently working out in Indianapolis in hopes of a return to the NBA, ideally with the Pacers, for the 2020-21 season slated to start in December, possibly in a bubble. “My goal is just to shape in shape, stay working, stay ready for next season,” Stephenson said. Stephenson said he is open to playing overseas, but his goal is to return to the NBA. “Lance 100 percent deserves to be in the NBA as a rotation guy, not just on a team,” Brown said. “Whatever role he had in the NBA going forward, he would accept it but he definitely belongs in the NBA. It’s not even close.
Scott Agness: No, Lance Stephenson is not an option to replace Oladipo. Source close to the situation confirms that he is ineligible. On March 11, the morning the season was suspended, I reported how he was nearing a deal to return (after injuries to Brogdon and Lamb).
The best option to replace him likely will be on their roster. The reality is that anyone unsigned right now would have a learning curve, and there’s a reason they’re without a job. Pacers fans are pushing for a third act from Lance Stephenson; there was even a chant of “We want Lance” at the end of Tuesday’s win, but don’t get your hopes up. League sources say that is not under consideration.
Stephenson, who has most recently played in China, lost his biggest advocate within the franchise in Larry Bird, who is now partially retired and living in Naples, Fla. But sources told The Athletic Indiana that Stephenson would welcome a reunion as he’s eager to return to the NBA.
Chris Haynes: Yahoo Sources: Free agent guard Lance Stephenson seeking return to NBA following season in China where he averaged 26.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and shot 52 percent from field. He’s willing to work out to prove his value.
Lance Stephenson: 🔥 pic.twitter.com/GVJ8dQ1THO

http://twitter.com/StephensonLance/status/1159594865468039168
Emiliano Carchia: OFFICIAL: Lance Stephenson signs with Liaoning in China pic.twitter.com/fEnmP7HbYY

http://twitter.com/Carchia/status/1159564500196110343
In the days and weeks leading up to the option trigger date, Stephenson had not received any assurances from the Pacers front office about his $4.3 million option, sources said. We’ve all been through the job-interview process. You know when a company wants you. That Monday, Stephenson was at the Pacers’ facility to lift weights and get shots up. He left about 30 minutes before word got out, according to a source, that they weren’t guaranteeing his contract for the 2018-19 season and he would soon become an unrestricted free agent.

http://twitter.com/AlyshaTsuji/status/1013625298120687616
Free-agent swingman Lance Stephenson has agreed to join up with LeBron James to pursue a championship with the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources tell ESPN. Stephenson will sign a one-year, $4.5 million deal, the sources said.
Bobby Marks: The $4.4M contract for Lance Stephenson is for the room midlevel exception. The Lakers only have the minimum exception unless they renounce Julius Randle.
Darren Wolfson: Among many FAs the #Twolves have registered some level of interest: Tolliver, Nick Young, Lance Stephenson, Dante Cunningham, Amir Johnson, Trevor Booker, Jabari Bird, Ennis.

https://twitter.com/ScottAgness/status/1011386204611338242

http://twitter.com/BleacherReport/status/1011340976709865474
Chris Haynes: ESPN Sources: With Indiana declining team option on Lance Stephenson, Tyreke Evans and Will Barton are expected to be two of its free-agent targets.
Scott Agness: Thad Young has two weeks to decide on his Player Option. Stay with the team for one more year (at $13.7M), sign a new deal, or go elsewhere. Also by June 29th: Team Options due on Lance Stephenson, Joe Young. And Bojan Bogdanovic’s contract becomes guaranteed if not waived.
Bird, along with general manager Kevin Pritchard, always listened to Stephenson and his agents. Bird showed his faith in Stephenson once a roster spot became available, signing him Thursday to a three-year, $12 million deal. “A big part of this is Larry,” said Mark Bartelstein, one of Stephenson’s two agents. “They did a great job of staying connected and letting us know their interest. You always want to go where you’re wanted and I think Larry and Kevin were so consistent in telling us that (and) it led us to today.”
“Larry and Kevin are genuine guys and they believe in relationships,” Bartelstein said. “I think Larry, being a player in this league, knew what Lance was looking for at that time and I think there was always respect. When Larry believes in you, he’s always going to be a fan and he doesn’t hold grudges.”
“If Lance had to do it all over again, he wouldn’t have left the Pacers,” Bartelstein said. “You don’t often get a second chance and Lance knows that and is really appreciative and grateful for that.”
Stephenson, according to the league source, is thrilled to have a second chance to play for the Pacers. Stephenson spent Wednesday talking with several people in the organization to express his excitement and prepare of the most critical stretch of the team’s season.
Nate Taylor: Nate McMillan said he had the upmost respect for Rodney Stuckey. McMillan wouldn't discuss Lance Stephenson since a deal isn't finalized.
Lance Stephenson’s ankle is getting close to being healed, which means a decision is looming for the Wolves. Stephenson, signed to a 10-day contract Feb. 8, played in four games before the injury against Cleveland Feb. 14. He has been rehabbing ever since. The Wolves can sign him to another 10-day contract or for the season once he’s healthy, if they so choose. Thibodeau said such a decision would come in the next day or two.
Jordan Farmar impressed the Cavs during their free-agent tryout for point guards Wednesday, a source said, and the 30-year-old former Laker may be under consideration for a contract. The Cavs brought in Farmar, Mario Chalmers, and Kirk Hinrich for a workout, with the idea of potentially signing one as the veteran backup to Kyrie Irving the franchise has looked for all season. Also attending was Lance Stephenson, a wing player.
As of last night, a source said the Cavs weren't sure if they would sign one of the four players immediately or by March 1, the deadline for free agents to eligible for the playoffs. But the Cavs have had an open roster spot for more than three weeks, and as of now only have 11 healthy bodies. Any of the four could be the choice, but it appears Farmar acquitted himself well.
LeBron James says he supports the Cleveland Cavaliers' creative solution to the dearth of playmakers on their roster by holding a midseason free-agent minicamp Wednesday, but he did not favor one candidate over another. Cleveland will welcome free-agent guards Mario Chalmers, Kirk Hinrich and Jordan Farmar, as well as forward Lance Stephenson, for a workout Wednesday afternoon.
Stephenson was an instigator on those Indiana Pacers teams that the Heat faced in the playoffs for three consecutive postseasons, from 2012 to 2014, and he gained notoriety for his antics to try to get under James' skin, including blowing in the superstar's ear during game play. Stephenson averaged 9.7 points, 4.8 assists and 3 rebounds for the New Orleans Pelicans in six games this season before needing groin surgery, causing the Pelicans to cut him in November because of roster constraints. Would James have a problem teaming up with his former foe? "I just want to win, man," James said. "That's all that matters to me. I got no personal problems with nobody."
After a 7-8 underwhelming January record, reinforcements could be on the way for LeBron James and the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Veteran point guards Mario Chalmers and Kirk Hinrich, along with wing Lance Stephenson are scheduled to work out for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday in hopes of inking a deal, league sources informed ESPN.
There are a few other free agent prospects that are expected to attend the session as well, sources say. Depending on how well the participants perform, sources with knowledge of the Cavaliers' thinking believe one of them could be signed prior to the All-Star break. The workout session is being assembled as a precursor to potentially addressing the organizations' lack of playmaking and spot point guard needs.
Lance Stephenson was a “model citizen” in his time with the Pelicans, team sources say. As covered Monday when they waived the injured Stephenson to make room to sign Archie Goodwin, team officials didn’t want to release him but felt they had no alternative with only 11 healthy players and no clear path to a hardship waiver to add a 16th player because Jrue Holiday was out for personal reasons as opposed to an outright injury.
The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has waived guard Lance Stephenson. Stephenson, 6-5, 230, was originally signed by New Orleans on Sept. 14. In six games this season, Stephenson has averaged 9.7 points, 4.8 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 27.0 minutes per game.
Marc Stein: Since Jrue Holiday is away from the team for personal reasons, not outright injury, New Orleans' case for a hardship waiver is not automatic
Matt Barnes: So my man Lance Stephenson busts his ass for the Pelicans, gets hurt, requires surgery & what does he get for his hard work??? WAIVED SMFH Something fans have to understand is y'all get mad when players leave during free agency or hold out for money.. We have to do what's best for US, we have a small window to make as much money as we can.. Remember this is a BUSINESS when you can no longer serve your purpose these teams cut you trade you or bury you on the bench! Case in point, Lance gets hurt playing & needs surgery now, so instead of supporting him & helping him get healthy they cut him! #Bullshit #HoldYaHeadLilBro
Lance Stephenson, 26, will undergo surgery for a groin injury and is expected to be sidelined six-to-10 weeks, sources said. He joined the Pelicans on a partially guaranteed contract for training camp and played well as a reserve guard this season.
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