Lance Stephenson signs with...
The Charlotte Hornets on a 3yr/25m-28m contract.
Born Ready turned down a 5yr/44m from championship contender Indiana, where he would have made an average of 8.8m a year only to take on a contract that will pay him roughly the same amount on a team that seems to be less competitive than the Pacers.
Maybe it is true that there was a situation happen with the team in house? I was hearing a few rumors but if he signs for the same money elsewhere it makes me think there was truth to this. Because it isn't like the Pacers are star packed, Hibbert is struggling, Hill is average and West is aging but still a soild player. On the Horents he would be facing similar competition with Kemba and Big Al demanding a lot of the ball, not to mention other players.
On the Hornets note, I really like what they are doing, Kemba, Big Al, Stephenson, Zeller, Vonleh, Bismak guarding the paint and MKG. IF he signs and with the added depth to the team with the draft the Hornets will be a pushing for a top 3-4 finish in the east.
Well maybe he hated playing on Indiana with all of the drama....
also, the difference between Indiana without Lance and Charlotte with Lance isn't really that wide. Indiana was pretty far from being a team that could actually win a championship. And by my count they now have no depth and only two guys who can be reliable scorers, one of which is on the wrong side of 30.
I think Stephenson is a steal at 8.8m per season considering the money waved around for Parsons, Hayward, D-Wade etc. He's basically half their price.
And on a short contract, I'd say this was a handy piece of business for Charlotte. They'll be 5 wins better with Stephenson and the development of their younger players. That should be good for a 4-7 seed.
As long as he doesn't totally lose the plot, he'd be a trade asset too.
I honestly thought Stephenson was worth about 10m-11m a year and with guys like Hayward and Parsons getting paid, maybe even 13m-14m.
Jordan Hill is making more than Stephenson and Nick Young is about 3m off with a paycut, not a bad price.
If Lance didn't lose it and go a bit nuts in the playoffs Lance would've made money much closer to Hayward and Parsons. Teams were concerned with Lance's mental state which assuredly led to him making less per year. If Lance proves himself in Charlotte then he should make a lot more when time comes for his next contract.
they got a steal now they need to get another player at the sf I think mkg tenure is done as a starter on the hornets.
If the Hornets are nice and arrange a move so the Pacers get a trade exception from this then Indiana might be able to add another important player.
Charlotte are active, not sure this puts them into the running to win the East.
If I was Indiana, I would put George at shooting guard now. Maybe Copeland would start at small forward.
I was really hoping he would go there. They have a good coach born in my hometown of 5,000 people in the middle of no where Maine, Steve Clifford. I just had to say that. They look to have a team that can compete and now 2 years in a row they have gotten a good free agent who doesn't look to be an over pay. Lance also fits their defensive mentality.
Charlotte now has a nice 5 guard rotation, with Lance, Kemba, Henderson, Hairston and Roberts. Playing with Lance will allow Kemba to play more off the ball, where he has and can be effective. Almost any combination of these players can fit together, with Kemba and Roberts possibly the only exception on the defensive end, due to their size. Steve Clifford can also deploy some nice small-ball/3-guard units, with Kemba-Lance-Hairston/Kemba-Lance-Henderson.
Overall, this should be a solid move for the Hornets, with not too much cap restricting risk involved. It's a "good but not great" signing and Gordon Hayward was, rightfully so, the better target. If Lance can keep his head on straight (a big if), this move could pay off very well. I think Charlotte has definitely improve this offseason, between their signings and draft picks.
Lol Stephenson just gets over 2 million more than Jodie Meeks while Jordan Hill makes about as much as Lance. Some of the signings this off-season have been dumb, really.
Reports are that he wanted flexibility, which meant a shorter contract. The amount of cash wasn't as important to him as future flexibility. I think he might have been following the Lebron route and trying to cash in a little quicker on the next TV deal.
On a side note, is there any way that the Hornets don't start MKG this year? Marvin Williams is more of a stretch four, but with the way that the Hornets are constructed, they don't need another ball-handler on the wing as much as they need a shooter. Walker-Stephenson-Williams-Zeller-Big Al or Walker-Stephenson-Henderson-Williams-Big All are both four-around-one lineups. If Zeller and Vonleh can get confidence from three point range, then that team gets even beter offensively. Stephenson was one of the best drivers in the NBA and he played with two true big men clogging the lane. I really think Walker would only be better if the court opened up.
On the flip-side, a Stephenson/MKG defensive combo on the wings may be almost as good as the Pacers Stephenson/George combo. I'm not sure where they would get their offense, but they could even throw Biyumbo on the court for stretches, who is one of the best in the game at opponent FG%.
Stephenson gives this team an important piece. If he can keep his head in a different system, then this team is much better.
I think Lance cost himself an easy 25 million guaranteed by all of his silliness in the playoffs. Lance's talent is on the same level at Hayward and Parsons and they got much more than he did. Maybe this will humble him a little bit because he could have gotten much more but his antics hit him hard in the wallet.
great move... Him and kemba is gonna be exciting
Oh wow, they have PJ Hairston AND Lance. lol
This team is basically loaded right? Kemba and Lance is a backcourt that should give other teams nightmares. Big Al inside. MKG as the defensive wing. Zeller and Vonleh at the other forward spot. Bismack can block shots, rebound, and kill my fantasy team. Maybe they even resign CDR as a crafty scorer. Marvin Williams might now be that stretch four that all teams crave.
Looks like the third best team in the East at this point behind a Cavs/Bulls photo finish for the top spot.
A step down from them would be teams like Miami, Indy, Washington, and Atlanta.
The Nets, Knicks, and Pistons could fight over the final playoff spot.
The East might be sneaky loaded...
Even the Bucks should get some quality wins. The Celtics won't be too good but even they could get hot every now and then.
Then you also don't want to play on that night when the Orlando young guns finally figure it out.
If Hairston hated the way that high schooler guarded him...Wait until Lance defends him in practice....
Which means now Rodney Stuckey will be wearing blue and yellow. which isnt that bad of an idea for the pacers. He can be ball dominant and he has improved his three ball since he's came in to the league and he can take it to the hole. It'll be interesting to see when he does sign there if they bring him off the bench for energy and start a defensive specialist or just start him right away
Charlotte has got nice defence at 2 and 3 with MKG and Stephenson. It will be interesting to see how they fit in MKG, Stephen and Henderson at SG and SF. Henderson and MKG started every game they played last season and Henderson has been a fairly regular starter for the last 3 years. I doubt that Lance has signed to sit on the bench and with MKG having been a very high draft pick and a young guy they need to develop then Coach Clifford has a nice problem to solve.
I'd guess Marvin Williams will play mainly PF to replace Josh McRoberts but with Jefferson likely to play big minutes at C, they will want to try to give Zeller especially some minutes at PF as I'd assume that Biyombo will play around Jefferson. Factor in Noah Vonleh who was considered a possible top 5 pick this year and whilst he can be developed slowly he will see time at both SF and PF eventually.
Coach Clifford will have to juggle his roster a bit but suddenly has nice depth, with a good off season I'd say the Cavs should be above .500 next season again and maybe as high as 6th seed.
Lance is a good pick up for them, he has issues and on a younger roster he'll be expected to show more maturity. Steve Clifford has been around the NBA a long time and worked on some of the biggest teams so will have seen a few egos in his time plus he has an HOF player as an assistant in Patrick Ewing who would command a lot of respect. I could see Coach Clifford, Patrick and MJ sitting down with Lance and setting out a few clear ground rules early on.
Lance leaving $17 million guaranteed on the table is a bit of a risk as he hasn't had the security of a big rookie deal or a 2nd contract yet. I do wonder if MJ made any pitch to him, getting a pitch from probably the greatest player ever could have been what swung him away from Bird and co at the Pacers.
He'll be a loss to the Pacers and they'll need to regroup and find an SG option soon.
Charlotte made a bold move.. Along with the talent also comes that bad package that Lance provides... But they will get a talented well-rounded player.. I've said it before and I'll say it again, MJ's biggest acquisition is not a player but one in the front office and that is Rich Cho.. He has done a terrific job in the last two years...
yeah i agree with marcusfizer..jordan decision to hand over drafting and player decisions, have made this a better team....