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Charlotte Hornets Sign Lance Stephenson, Continue Targeting Indiana Players

Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson shoots before Game 5 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat, in Indianapolis on Wednesday, May 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press
Jeff YoderContributor IJuly 16, 2014

It's not a science, formula or even a common theme. It's probably just happenstance. But Michael Jordan's Charlotte Hornets have been making a splash this offseason, and they're doing it by pulling talent from the birthplace of basketball—the state of Indiana. 

Jordan made comments back in June about the Hornets' cap space and ability to make some big offseason moves, and he's sticking to it.

After drafting Indiana University's Noah Vonleh with the No. 9 overall pick in June's draft, the Hornets now have three Indiana products on the roster in Vonleh, Cody Zeller and D.J. White. Of the five Indiana alums currently in the NBA, only Victor Oladipo and Eric Gordon don't play for the Hornets.

Whether it's Jordan, other Charlotte management or just plain luck, there's a weird trend with Charlotte and its ties to Indiana players.

And it's not exactly brand-new. 

On top of the three current Hoosiers, both Kirk Haston ('02) and Greg Graham ('94) were Indiana players drafted by Charlotte in recent history.

Don't forget Sean May, the North Carolina product taken by Charlotte in 2005. His dad, Scott May, played basketball at Indiana before going pro.

Lastly, recent Hornets departure, Josh McRoberts, was an Indianapolis native.

In the weeks following the draft, the Hornets made a push for Utah Jazz forward and former Butler University standout Gordon Hayward.

After offering Hayward a max contract that the Jazz matched, the Hornets signed Lance Stephenson away from the Indiana Pacers Wednesday morning with a three-year, $27 million deal per Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star (via USA Today). 

Though Stephenson wasn't a born-and-raised Hoosier—a native of Cincinnati, Ohio—he meant a lot to the state of Indiana in its recent basketball memory. 

Whether Jordan has a new system of targeting Indiana-based players or not, his Hornets have gained some attention—good and bad—from the Hoosier State.

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