According to Ryan Ward of Examiner.com, the Los Angeles Lakers are interested in pursuing guard Lance Stephenson this offseason. Stephenson will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, so there’s no doubt that he will have plenty of suitors. Along with the Lakers, the Chicago Bulls and Charlotte Bobcats have also been rumored to be interested in signing the star shooting guard.
Over the last two seasons, Stephenson has really emerged as an All-Star caliber player. He is having his best year yet averaging 14 points, seven assists and five rebounds per game. Triple-Doubles are very difficult tasks to achieve and Stephenson has been able to log four just half way through the NBA season. This is an unheard rate of triple-doubles so that only proves how much of an all-around quality player he is.
Currently, Stephenson is making a measly $980,000, something that will change when he hits the open market. A reasonable contract offer will not only include longevity, but a healthy salary as well. Stephenson may receive an offer in upwards of four years and $40 million. Certainly a substantial figure that the already expensive Indiana Pacers roster may not want to match. The Pacers are obviously a very close knit team and Stephenson may not want to leave even for a few extra dollars.
Furthermore, the Legend, Larry Bird will make the right decision without a doubt. If he decides to cut ties with Stephenson, he will make a huge impact on any team that he lands on. The problem with the Lakers pursuing him would be that the lucrative deal would clog up any salary cap that the team has conserved to go after the marquee free agents, such as Kevin Love or Eric Bledsoe. Either way his services will be welcomed in Los Angeles as the team is desperately missing the intensity of a player like Stephenson.