Report: Lance Stephenson, Pacers in 'Strong' Contract Talks; Currently in China

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers' Lance Stephenson (6) reacts to a missed 3-point shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Lance Stephenson could be headed to a third stint with the Indiana Pacers.

According to Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic, the guard is in "strong talks" to return to Indiana. He would need clearance from FIBA and his Chinese team before he is able to agree on an NBA contract.

Stephenson has spent this season playing with the Liaoning Flying Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association.

The 29-year-old signed a one-year, $4 million agreement in August and has dominated overseas while averaging 26.7 points and 7.4 rebounds per game in 29 appearances.

He's been the leading scorer for a squad that also features former NBA player Brandon Bass. The team's regular season ends on March 12, providing a possible opportunity to return to the United States for the remainder of the 2019-20 campaign.

Stephenson has played for seven different teams in his NBA career, most recently appearing in 68 games with the Los Angeles Lakers last season. He averaged 7.2 points while shooting 37.1 percent from three-point range.

He has mostly been known for his time in Indiana from 2010-14 and again from 2017-18. 

The guard had a knack for stepping up in the playoffs, averaging 13.6 points per game during the team's run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2014 while averaging 12.5 points per game during the 11 games between the 2017 and 2018 playoffs.

His playmaking ability would be valuable for a Pacers squad hoping to make another deep run in the postseason. The team entered Sunday 38-25, good for the fifth place in the Eastern Conference.