Stephenson agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million contract with the Lakers on Sunday, Chris Haynes of ESPN.com This is certainly an interesting twist on what has been a busy Sunday night for the Lakers, as just hours LeBron James agreed to a four-year deal with the team, Los Angeles brings along one of the superstar's "rivals." It's unclear, however, how Stephenson fits on this Lakers team as it is currently constructed, as he shot just 29 percent from behind the arc last season and would likely be playing behind both Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Josh Hart on the wing. Stephenson, however, did still show last season in Indiana that he is capable of providing a spark on the bench and will likely be a limited contributor in that capacity this coming season.
Stephenson's $4.3 million team option for the 2018-19 season was declined by the Pacers on Monday, making him an unrestricted free agent, Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports reports. Stephenson played in all 82 regular season games for the Pacers last season, averaging 9.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists across 22.6 minutes. It was his best campaign since the 2014-15 season with Charlotte, though the Pacers needed some financial flexibility for the start of free agency on July 1 and will have to let Stephenson go rather than reward his solid play. The veteran wing should field plenty of interest on the open free agent market as a do-it-all bench player for playoff teams.
Stephenson totaled 12 points (5-12 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 0-2 FT), six assists, two rebounds and one steal in 26 minutes during Friday's 121-87 victory over Cleveland. Stephenson was a factor once again Friday, helping the Pacers to a comfortable victory. While his numbers don't jump off the board by any means, his impact on both ends of the floor is unquestionable. He will need to bring his energy again on Sunday if the Pacers hope to advance to the second-round in what is a must-win game.
Stephenson registered 12 points (4-8 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 2-2 FT) and four assists across 23 minutes in Wednesday's 98-95 loss to the Cavaliers. Steohenson continues to lock up on his defensive assignment in this series, while contributing double-digit points offensively for the fourth game in five tries. He should continue to see a little over 20 minutes in Game 6, with the opportunity to earn more if his energy level is what gets the Pacers to avoid elimination.
Stephenson generated 11 points (5-11 FG, 1-4 3Pt), six assists, two rebounds, one steal and one block across 23 minutes during Indiana's 104-100 loss to the Cavaliers in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series. Stephenson was productive off the bench once again, but he also was counterproductive to the Pacers' chances of making a late comeback. The mercurial wing got a bit too exuberant while trying to wrestle the ball away from the Cavs' Jeff Green with nine seconds remaining, resulting in both players tumbling to the floor and Stephenson being whistled for the foul. Green went on to make the subsequent pair of free throws to help seal Cleveland's win, putting a damper on Stephenson's third double-digit scoring effort over the first four games of the series. He'll look to make key second-unit contributions without the extracurricular activity when the Pacers try to secure a victory in Wednesday's Game 5.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||49||163||42.8||18||26.5||55||70.5||399||8.14||824|