Published on: 11th August, 2016
by Scott Mandel
Two years ago, it would’ve seemed inconceivable that Lance Stephenson would be out of the NBA. According to reports, that may be his reality.
In the summer of 2014, Lance Stephenson was a 23-year-old coming off of an All-Star caliber season, averaging 13.8 points and a team-leading 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists for the 56-win Indiana Pacers.
Stephenson rejected a deal to return to the Pacers on a five-year, $44 million deal and instead chose an ill-fated three-year deal worth $27 million with the Charlotte Hornets, with the third year being a team option.
Stephenson spent one nightmare of a season with the Hornets before being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, where he failed to find a role before being traded again last February at the trade deadline to the Memphis Grizzlies for Jeff Green.
Stephenson seemed to revive his career with the Grizzlies, who were decimated by injuries.
In 26 games with the Grizzlies, Stephenson averaged 14.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in 26.2 minutes of action per night.
Even more impressive than his raw numbers on a team that was desperate for NBA players was his efficiency, shooting 47.4 percent from the field and an impressive 35.5 percent on three-pointers.
Stephenson’s last-ditch performance for a team that featured a roster that resembled a D-League roster more than an actual NBA roster wasn’t enough to convince the Grizzlies to keep Stephenson with his team option.