The Charlotte Hornets are "open to the prospect of signing" Lance Stephenson, after initially not considering him, according to the Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell.
Hornets management had contact with Stephenson's representatives Tuesday, multiple NBA sources confirmed. Stephenson is one of the last name free agents in this class yet to sign, and the Hornets could use his scoring and shooting ability at the wings.
However, Stephenson had some behavioral issues last season, before reaching free-agency that have seemingly depressed his leverage in the NBA marketplace. The Pacers have offered Stephenson $8.8 million per season over five seasons, and have reportedly not come off that number. Stephenson thinks he's worth considerably more.
Meanwhile, here's what's happening with Stephenson on the Indiana Pacers front:
Spoke briefly with #Pacers owner Herb Simon after conclusion of NBA Board of Governors Meeting in Las Vegas.— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) July 16, 2014
Got in 1 question re: Lance. Simon: "We made him a wonderful offer and they didn't think it was enough so it's a simple situation."— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) July 16, 2014
Simon declined further comment on the #Pacers offer to Lance Stephenson.— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) July 16, 2014
We're at the point where Stephenson is pretty much assuredly going to be underpaid based on his skills and his age. There aren't many teams with major money to spend, and his antics against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals are fresh on everyone's mind.
If the Hornets could get him, that would be a huge boost for their offense. They lost Josh McRoberts to the Heat and badly need some additional playmaking. They wanted Gordon Hayward to be that guy, but Stephenson might end up being better and cheaper.