How Big Of An NBA Contract Is Lance Stephenson Looking For Right Now?
Last season, Lance Stephenson averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 4.6 assists—all career highs—for the Indiana Pacers. He also served as a spark plug for the team late in the season and was often the most energetic guy on the floor for Indiana. So this summer, Stephenson, who is currently an unrestricted free agent, wants to cash in on his recent success and sign a big contract. And when we say “big,” we mean BIG. He’s got his eyes squarely on the prize and is looking to add plenty of extra zeroes to his bank account in the very near future.
How much is he actually looking for, though? Apparently, he reportedly wants more than just a five-year, $44 million contract, which is what the Pacers just offered to him. According to reports, he turned that deal down, even though the Pacers created a movie for him to try and “recruit” him back to Indiana next season, and told the Pacers to try again. In the meantime, he’s also interested in hearing what a handful of other teams, including the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, and Charlotte Hornets, might have in store for him. Those teams are said to be interested in Stephenson’s services. But because Stephenson is likely looking for a contract worth approximately $10 million per year, he might not get strong enough offers from any of them. And if he doesn’t, then what?
As of right now, Stephenson is running the risk of getting too greedy and asking for too much money. We definitely don’t fault him for doing it because, of course, he should try and make as much money as he possibly can. But at the same time, if he does somehow convince a team to give him $10 million per year, he’s likely going to handcuff that team both now and in the future and make it hard for them to sign quality players. So Stephenson really needs to sit down and think about what he wants. Does he want a huge contract that could potentially put him on a mediocre team, or does he want a fairly sizable contract like the one Indy just offered him that would allow him to get paid and play for a solid franchise?
He’ll have to answer that question in the coming days. And his answer will ultimately determine how much he gets paid—and where he plays for the next four or five seasons.