This time, it’s the Indiana Pacers blowing on the ear of Lance Stephenson. Or the other way around.
Either way it appears there is an stalemate in Indiana as Stephenson rejected the Pacers’ offer of $44 million over 5 years according to ESPN.COM writer Chris Broussard.
Sources: L Stephenson & Pacers at impasse. Indy offers 5 yrs/$44 mill. Lance wants more, will talk to others. Chi, LAL, Hornets interested.
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 2, 2014
The teams mentioned interested in Stephenson’s services are the Los Angeles Lakers, Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls. The Lakers and Hornets have the cap space to offer Stephenson a larger contract than what the Pacers offered while the Bulls created one after amnestying power forward Carlos Boozer.
Stephenson was one of the key players in the Pacers’ successful runs in the past two seasons but has been involved in too many controversies. This includes the “blowing in the ear” of LeBron James incident in the Eastern Conference Finals and a reported in-team fighting with Pacers forward Evan Turner among others.
Despite the volatile personality, the 23-year-old guard was a nice surprise for the Pacers who drafted him 40th overall in the 2010 NBA Draft. Stephenson started and played 78 for the Pacers in the 2013-14 regular season averaging career-high numbers of 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists. He maintained those numbers in the playoffs with 13.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 19 postseason games.