Los Angeles Lakers Should Be Careful About Pursuing Lance Stephenson

By Brendan Patel
Steve Mitchell - USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell – USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are currently pursuing several top free-agents, but might have to go to Plan B if none of them decide to join the team. One name being floated around is Lance Stephenson, who has been unable to reach terms with any teams yet. Stephenson represents a cheaper alternative with plenty of talent, but is considered a risk due to various on the court incidents last season. The Lakers should be careful of trying to sign Stephenson unless they can convince him to come for a huge discount.

Stephenson is a very good player, but may not be the best fit for the team. He plays better when he is dominating the ball and may see his touches diminish when on the court with Kobe Bryant. He would have to earn the veteran’s trust, and there may be some early frustration. Bryant has shown very little patience in the past with his teammates and may not be willing to put up with Stephenson’s antics should things not go his way. Chemistry has been a huge problem for the Lakers in their recent history, and it does not make sense for the team to gamble that things will eventually work out, especially since Bryant won’t have many years of playing left.

The best that the Lakers could do is offer him a short-term contract to prove himself, and hope that Stephenson will succeed in playing with veterans. But the team would be taking a huge risk, and would be better off trying to convince other free-agents to come play in Los Angeles. The organization needs to be careful about pursuing Stephenson should they have to resort to Plan B and may want to consider other options.

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