Lance Stephenson is reportedly in talks to sign with the Indiana Pacers for a third time. Word surfaced on Sunday that Stephenson is in “strong talks” to cut short a stint playing basketball in China to sign with the Pacers, where he started his career and last placed in 2018.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charinia, the two sides are in talks that would involve him exiting his current deal in China to join Indiana for the current NBA season’s stretch run.
Lance Stephenson is in strong talks on a potential deal with Indiana, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. No agreement or decision is finalized. Stephenson would also need clearance from his Chinese team and FIBA.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 8, 2020
Stephenson is currently in China playing for the Liaoning Flying Leopards, so he would need their permission to re-sign with the Pacers in any way. The above photo, it should be noted, is from a training session with the Flying Leopards in October. But there’s apparently mutual interest in the 6-foot-6 shooting guard returning stateside for a third Pacers stint.
He was drafted by the franchise in the second round of the 2010 NBA Draft and played four seasons with the club. Stephenson returned to the Pacers for two years from 2016 to 2018. His last NBA experience came with the Lakers in 2018-19, where he played in 68 games and averaged 7.2 points per game. It’s initially unclear the timing of all this and whether his current club and/or FIBA will agree to cut Stephens loose for his return to the NBA, but apparently it’s what Stephenson is hoping for in the coming days.