Lance Stephenson is one of the best free agents left on the open market and there are a lot of teams who could use a talent like he possesses. He has been rumored to be interested in going back to the Indiana Pacers, but it doesn’t sound like Larry Bird is going to make that happen. If he doesn’t go back to Indiana, there are a few different teams that he would fit well with.
One of those teams is the Orlando Magic, who are now coached by Frank Vogel. Stephenson was one of Vogel’s favorite players during their tenure in Indiana, and there is no question that Stephenson had a close bond with his head coach. Orlando also almost pulled the trigger to acquire Stephenson at the trade deadline last season.
Could Stephenson sign with the Magic in order to reunite with his former head coach and help boost their back-court production?
Looking at the Orlando roster, Stephenson could fit in and have a big role immediately. Elfrid Payton and Evan Fournier will likely be the starting back-court, but after those two there are open spots. Stephenson could earn the backup shooting guard or small forward minutes depending on where Vogel decided to use him.
After being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies last season in 26 games, Stephenson ended up averaging 14.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. He shot 47.4 percent from the field overall and knocked down 35.5 percent from behind the three-point arc.
At just 25-years-old, Stephenson still has plenty of time to grow into his full potential. He showed flashes of it last season with the Grizzlies, but getting back into Vogel’s offensive system could help Stephenson in a big way.
Orlando is certainly a team to keep an eye on this season for one of the last playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. It has been a long time since they were seen as a serious contender for a playoff spot, but they are there now. After the offseason trades and signings that were made, the Magic are not going to be an easy opponent for any team.
Serge Ibaka was acquired from the Oklahoma City Thunder in a major draft night blockbuster. Orlando had to give up Victor Oladipo to get the deal done, but they feel that Ibaka will take them to the next level.
Bringing back Fournier in free agency was a top priority as well and they were able to get that done without an issue.
Unless something changes, the Magic will have to compete with teams like the Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, and Washington Wizards for playoff positioning. They won’t be among the top teams in the conference, but there is a very good chance that they will get into the postseason and give one of the top teams a run for their money in the first round of the playoffs.
If the Magic are able to add Stephenson, they will immediately take another step forward. He brings the ability to score the basketball at a high level, along with rebounding and playmaking potential. Orlando needs as many players who can make plays for their teammates as possible and Stephenson did that for Vogel a few years back.
Expect to hear more rumors come out about Stephenson in the coming weeks. He has put off signing with a new team for awhile now, but he won’t be too much longer. Orlando should place a call to Stephenson’s agent to see if they can get a deal done to bring the talented player to a reunion with his former head coach.
Do you think the Orlando Magic should look to sign Lance Stephenson? Would he be a good fit for Vogel and the Magic? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
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