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NBA Rumors: Pacers Not Interested in Signing Lance Stephenson amid Comeback Bid

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IFebruary 28, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers guard Lance Stephenson (6) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Lance Stephenson reportedly will not have a third tenure with the Indiana Pacers.

Anonymous league sources told The Athletic's Scott Agness that the Pacers are not considering signing the free-agent guard, who is a member of the Liaoning Flying Leopards in the Chinese Basketball Association.

"The reality is that anyone unsigned right now would have a learning curve, and there's a reason they're without a job," Agness wrote. "Pacers fans are pushing for a third act from Lance Stephenson; there was even a chant of 'We want Lance' at the end of Tuesday's win, but don't get your hopes up."

The clamoring for a reunion started Monday when it was announced that guard Jeremy Lamb suffered a torn ACL, torn lateral meniscus and fracture in his left knee during the team's 127-81 loss at Toronto on Sunday, ending his season.

Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported last Friday that Stephenson is "seeking [a] return" to the NBA despite still having a one-year deal with Liaoning. The 29-year-old is Liaoning's leading scorer at 26.7 points per game. He also averaged 7.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.1 steals across 29 contests.

Stephenson last played in the NBA for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018-19. The Cincinnati product's career began when the Pacers drafted him in the second round of the 2010 draft. He remained in Indiana through the 2013-14 campaign and returned to the organization for the 2017-18 season.

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Stephenson also had brief stops with the Charlotte Hornets (2014-15), Los Angeles Clippers (2015-16), Memphis Grizzlies (2015-16), New Orleans Pelicans (2016-17) and Minnesota Timberwolves (2016-17).

"We're still 100 percent honoring our commitment to China until further notice, but if an NBA team presents a legitimate opportunity we will cross that bridge as soon as possible," Reggie Brown, Stephenson's agent, said Tuesday, per Forbes' Adam Zagoria.

Stephenson is still under contract with the Flying Leopards because the Chinese Basketball Association has suspended activity until early April with the possibility of cancelling the season altogether because of the coronavirus outbreak, ESPN's Jonathan Givony reported Tuesday.       

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