NBA Rumors: Lance Stephenson to Receive Pacers Contract for Remainder of Season

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 9, 2022

Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson (6) reacts after a teammate scored in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz in Indianapolis, Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)
AP Photo/Doug McSchooler

The Born Ready renaissance in Indiana will continue for the remainder of the 2021-22 season.

Marc Stein reported the Pacers are set to sign Lance Stephenson for the remainder of the season following his stellar run on a 10-day contract. 

Stephenson, in his third stint with the Pacers, averaged 14.3 points, 6.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds in four games. He went off for 30 points in Wednesday's loss to the Brooklyn Nets before putting up 16 points, 14 assists and six rebounds in a win over the Utah Jazz on Saturday.

"Lance has a lot to do with that career number (Saturday) for Domas. They fit together," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle told reporters, referring to Domantas Sabonis' career-high 42 points. " ... Lance with the ball is a guy that can make a lot of things happen, and he has the ability to be unpredictable yet under control. And it just helps loosen things up for Domas and the rest of our team. The intriguing thing about Lance is that he's so unselfish. It's really a cool characteristic of him as player and as a person."

Stephenson is one of the most beloved players in recent Pacers history, bonding with the city of Indianapolis while playing a boisterous, sometimes antagonistic style. He emerged as a critical fixture in the Pacers rotation from 2010 to 2014, famously getting under the skin of LeBron James during Pacers-Miami Heat playoff series.

Stephenson's career then took a tailspin after leaving the Pacers in 2014, as he bounced to five teams in three seasons before again finding himself in Indiana. Another brief, successful run with the Pacers led to Stephenson departing once again in free agency, only to struggle in a stint with the Lakers and find himself out of the NBA.

For whatever reason, Stephenson's superpowers are only unlocked with him donning a Pacers uniform. It seems both sides are ready to see if the marriage can stick this time.