Right now the Chicago Bulls have some major names attached to them as potential signings this offseason, but their best option might actually be to look for someone off the beaten path. One of the best players on the expected free-agency list has not received a lot of media attention. Lance Stephenson, forward for likely NBA Championship-contending Indiana Pacers, will be testing the waters this offseason, and he’s looking for new teams to call his own.
Statistically, Stephenson has been having a great year. He’s averaging 14.3 points, 4.8 assists and 7.3 rebounds on 35.6 minutes per game. These are all higher than his career-averages which is a good sign for the three-year veteran. He performs his role on the Pacers efficiently.
Considering both Indiana and Chicago have similar defense-oriented game plans, if Stephenson is signed, his training stage shouldn’t take very long. He will be a suitable replacement for the expected dismissal of Carlos Boozer.
Additionally, it seems as if everyone has already bought into all of these rumors circling the Bulls right now. But what if Carmelo Anthony doesn’t want to sign with the Bulls? What if Nikola Mirotic decides to stay in the Euroleague for another year? The Bulls need to have a strong backup plan in this case, and Stephenson would be it.
Stephenson might be Chicago’s best option, an offensively-capable forward who knows how to contribute on major teams, and shows signs of growing into an even stronger player. Whatever happens, fans need to be aware that potential signings do not begin and end with Anthony and Mirotic.