Lance Stephenson was perhaps the most-criticized signing the Los Angeles Lakers made this past offseason. He went into the 2018-19 NBA season with career averages of 8.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists.
Despite some of his inconsistency and questionable antics, Stephenson was sought out by LeBron James and the Lakers. Like several other veterans on the team, he signed a one-year contract.
Stephenson thus far has been a model teammate and productive player off the bench for the Lakers. His presence has helped the team when Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo were serving suspensions, and now that Rondo is recovering from hand surgery.
While Stephenson is focused on this season, he recently said re-signing with the Indiana Pacers is something he would welcome, via Dana Benbow of the IndyStar:
“Oh, of course. This is home. Of course,” Stephenson said. “I would always want to come back here.”
Stephenson has been on a team that made the playoffs six times in eight years in the league. He spent five seasons with the Pacers, reaching the playoffs in each of those years.
Stephenson’s time with the Pacers was marred by remarks general manager Kevin Pritchard made about him at times being the opponent’s best player. Pritchard seemingly alluded to occasions in which Stephenson’s desire to make a play backfired.
He’s largely avoided that habit thus far with the Lakers. Stephenson has been asked to help solidify defense on the perimeter and been entrusted with spot duty at point guard for the second unit.
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