Pacers Pacers Pacers
Stephenson wanted a 3 year deal, and because the Pacers wanted to sign him for longer they let him walk? Both the organization and Lance wanted to have it their own way, but it seems like a middle ground could have been found. Who was too stubborn, the Pacers or Lance? in my opinion, Pacers.
Stephenson is one of the top 5 most talented shooting guards in the NBA, and his best (and more mature) years are ahead of him.
If the Pacers would have offered him a contract that included yearly raises; something like 6mil/1st year, 7mil/2nd year, through 10mil/5th year, with the 4th and 5th years being player options, Lance would be have probably stayed.
I trust Bird enough here. Maybe there's more to Lance's locker room problems than we know.
I think it was best for Lance to leave. The Pacers locker room seemed to be bad and Lance was not helping it. He is going to get a fresh start and he is still going to be mentored by 2 hall of famers in Jordan and Ewing, so he will listen to them and the Hornets have just as good of a chance of winning as the Pacers have of winning.
With the contract you designed for Lance as a middle ground, that would come out to 5 years/40 million if he stayed the whole time which is less than the offer he turned down from the Pacers, and if he opted out after Year 3 it would come to 3 years/21 million which is less than the offer he got from the Hornets, so why would he accept that offer? Now do I think he would have accepted an identical 3 year/27 million offer to stay with the Pacers if they led out with that? More than likely, if he did not already feel disrespected by the offer put out to him. I think this was just a case of Lance was going to get what Lance wanted, and there was really nothing the Pacers could have done about it.
How can you speculate on if he would have stayed or not? We have no idea. He turned down 5 years for $44 milllion. Why would he have signed for 5 years 40 million? He signed for 3 years for $27 million. Your first 3 years are for $21 million. The Pacers offered him fair market value. Just like the Bulls offered Deng fair market value with their offer before they traded him last year. We have no idea what the Pacers locker room was like. Could be the Pacers think it is addition by subtraction.