Lance Stephenson was a late addition to the pool of players that will be available this offseason in NBA free agency. Kevin Pritchard and the Indiana Pacers made a tough decision to decline Stephenson’s player option, which came as a major surprise to the Indiana fans. Now, Pacers’ fans are angrily tweeting at Pritchard and calling for the team to bring Lance back home.
While the Pacers still could re-sign Stephenson, there are also a few other teams that could show interest in him. Golden State is one team that has been talked about as a potentially solid landing spot, but another team that would make a lot of sense has been connected to the entertaining guard.
According to a report from Adam Zagoria of SportsNet New York, the Chicago Bulls could show interest in Stephenson this offseason when free agency opens.
Bleacher Report also shared their thoughts on a potential Stephenson to the Bulls signing.
“Stephenson may be erratic, but he is an experienced player who has been to the playoffs six times in his career. He’s risen to the occasion in the playoffs, too, averaging double-digits in his four last appearances. He’ll turn 28 during the season, so while he’s a veteran, he isn’t that far removed from his prime. With cash to spare and a need for players who can show the young guys what it takes to become a playoff team, Stephenson could be worth the risk for Chicago.”
Chicago signing Stephenson would make a lot of Indiana fans mad, to say the least. Stephenson would stay in the Central division and play the Pacers four times each season. The Bulls are also a bit of a rivalry for the Pacers, which could be something that Stephenson feeds off of with a chip on his shoulder.
Story on Indiana declining team option on Lance Stephenson, making him free agent: https://t.co/d2PcMTwAEN
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 25, 2018
During the 2017-18 season with the Pacers, Stephenson brought major energy and helped make Indianapolis a basketball city once again. He averaged 9.2 points per game to go along with 5.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists. He shot 42.7 percent from the floor and knocked down 28.9 percent from the three-point line.
Rumors have been swirling that the Bulls could allow Zach LaVine to walk this offseason if another team signs him to a lucrative offer sheet this offseason. Stephenson may not end up being a starter if the Bulls sign him, but he would be given the opportunity to compete for the job.
All of that being said, expect to see quite a few teams interested in signing Stephenson. He is a very talented player and brings the kind of entertainment that puts fans in seats.
Chicago could use more talent on their roster and Stephenson might just be the guy that helps take them back towards the playoffs.