One of the best free agents remaining on the open market seems to be heading to the Charlotte Hornets. According to a report by Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, Lance Stephenson is close to a three-year contract with Charlotte.
The Charlotte Hornets will sign Lance Stephenson to a 3-year contract, the last season a team option, the Observer has learned.
— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) July 16, 2014
Stephenson, a talented shooting guard, had his fair share of issues in the playoffs with the Indiana Pacers last season. He continually caused drama with then Miami Heat forward LeBron James, which forced some within the organization to question his future with the team. In addition to that, Stephenson seemed to drift further away from his teammates as the 2013-2014 season progressed.
On the court, Stephenson is one heck of a young player. He averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game last season.
ESPN’s Chris Broussard is reporting that the deal is worth $27 million over three years with a team option for the final year of the deal.
Unfortunately for Stephenson, this isn’t the lucrative long-term deal that he was seeking. Pure conjecture here, but it seems that the issues he had with Indiana this past season played a role in the watered-down market that he received.
For the Hornets, this is potentially a major steal. They were flirting with some other top-tier free agent options, but took on considerably less risk in terms of money to add Stephenson to the mix.
Photo: USA Today