Lance Stephenson and the Indiana Pacers reached an impasse during contract discussions two days ago despite the team’s free agency pitch to the talented, volatile guard including an original, biographical movie. As the holiday weekend is finally upon us and the market has begun to take shape, ESPN’s Chris Broussard reports that the two sides are “no closer” to an agreement than they were before.
Source: Pacers spoke with reps for Lance Stephenson earlier today. Sides no closer to agreement than b4 on 5-yr/$44 million offer
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 4, 2014
Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star previously reported that Larry Bird and company have “a price for Stephenson and will not exceed it,” and Broussard’s tweet that contract talks have completely stalled supports that idea. With both player and team seemingly steadfast in their refusal to cede demands, it appears ever-likely that Stephenson could play elsewhere next season.
— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) July 2, 2014
Exactly where that may be, however, is mostly conjecture. The Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Chicago Bulls have reportedly expressed interest in Stephenson, but it’s unknown if talks between those teams and Lance’s camp have been anything more than exploratory. A common sentiment among league observers is that the market for Stephenson will be set when a franchise other than Indiana makes him a firm contract offer. Until then, his suitors seem content to let the process play out.
And the longer free agency continues without Stephenson and the Pacers coming to an agreement, the greater chances are that he’ll move on from Indiana. Sometimes a player and team clearly want to reunite and financial considerations deem those desires moot; this could be just such an instance.
Where do you think Lance will sign?
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