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Larry Bird says Lance Stephenson wants to stay in Indiana, it’s just a question of money

Jun 27, 2014, 5:45 PM EST

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game 6 Getty Images

It’s all about the money. The paper. The Benjamins. How many bands are we talking?

Lance Stephenson is a restricted free agent and the Indiana Pacers kind of need to bring him back because they need his shot creation skills for a team otherwise short in that department. The problem is even if he leaves the Pacers are over the cap so Larry Bird’s hands would be somewhat tied in trying to replace what Stephenson brings.

But neither side wants to part ways, Bird said after the draft Friday night when asked about free agency and getting a new contract with Stephenson, as reported by Scott Agness of Vigilantsports.com.

Stephenson’s agent would be smart to wait it out here, not rush the decision.

There are teams out there with Carmelo Anthony (and maybe LeBron James) dreams who are going to swing and miss on their first targets then be searching for a player to bring in, provide some good play and help the GM save face. Stephenson can benefit from that and drive up his price — “We just landed a 23-year-old borderline All-Star who averaged 13.8 points and 7.2 rebounds a game, and he is still improving.” A GM can sell that to the fans and to his owner. Even if he overpaid a little to get him.

The Pacers can match any offer but again, at what price? And how much does Stephenson’s maturity issues play into that number?

What about $10 million a year for four years? Or $11 million? Of $12 million? At what point does Bird throw in his cards and say “too rich for my blood.”

It’s going to be an interesting free agency.

  1. saint1997 - Jun 27, 2014 at 6:03 PM

    Keep getting them cheques Lance! Nah I’m kidding but I think he would just be an awesome fit in Charlotte with MKG, Vonleh and Big Al that would be a top 4 team in the East

    • kinggw - Jun 27, 2014 at 6:10 PM

      I agree that Lance would be a good fit in Charlotte. I don’t think he makes them a top 4 team this year, but two or three years from now they’d be scary good.

      • bparmalee - Jun 27, 2014 at 7:30 PM

        As a Pacers fan I don’t see how Lance would fit in Charlotte. Kemba needs the ball to be effective and so does Lance. If you add Lance to that lineup you have a team that can’t shoot. The Hornets need someone to stretch the floor or everyone will collapse on Al J.

      • saint1997 - Jun 28, 2014 at 2:51 AM

        Yeah look it does depend on how it pans out but man the East is going to be boring in a couple of years! Not in a bad way, I just mean between the Pacers, Bulls, Bobcats, Magic and Wizards there are some INCREDIBLY good defensive setups there

  2. jimmy53 - Jun 27, 2014 at 6:09 PM

    Please stay in Indiana–then I don’t have to worry about you going to a team I actually like. Clown.

    • antistratfordian - Jun 27, 2014 at 6:15 PM

      He’s a talented clown though.

    • bball242322 - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:46 AM

      As a Pacer fan, I pray that Lance stays with the Pacers. So I’m glad we’re on the same page jimmy

  3. eugenesaxe1 - Jun 27, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    Dump Hibbert, 2 problems solved.

  4. cosme27 - Jun 27, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    Yeah very talented, when it comes to flopping!

    • 5xchamp24 - Jun 27, 2014 at 8:14 PM

      Your good at flopping only when the refs fall for it. Refs weren’t fooled at all in the Miami series.

  5. chrisswitzer2189 - Jun 27, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    Sign and trade turner with scola for a young player. Trade hill, hibbert and 1st rounder for rondo and green. Should’ve drafted patric young last night.

    • bparmalee - Jun 27, 2014 at 7:32 PM

      Shouldn’t have traded a draft pick for Hill…..shouldn’t have matched on Hibbert…. should have trade Granger when his value was higher….shouldn’t have let Collison go….. shouldn’t have drafted Hansbrough. Thank goodness the Jazz took Hayward or we wouldn’t have Paul George.

      • bball242322 - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:47 AM

        Hindsight is always 20/20. easy to say that now

      • bball242322 - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:48 AM

        All those mistakes and yet they still finished #1 in the East and made it to the Conference finals 2 years running

    • Kevin S. - Jun 27, 2014 at 9:21 PM

      What young player is a team making available for Scola and Turner? Are you kidnapping Danny Ainge’s kids to get him to agree to that deal or just his dog?

  6. metalhead65 - Jun 27, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    he may say it’s money but it will come down to will they get a point guard who can distribute and will vogel take the chains off on offense. does not matter who they get to score off the bench if vogel won’t play them or use them right, which was the problem last year for the bench. he refused to play copeland who was signed to provide offense and did not seem to know how to use scola who was brought in to score off the bench but vogel refused to alter his system to fit him. if he does not change the results for the pacers will not either.

  7. kb2408 - Jun 27, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    The Pacers need to sign Lance, period. They can’t afford to take another step back after regressing this past season. The East was theirs for the taking and they failed to grab ahold of it. They’re not going to get very many more chances to get to the promised land.

    • antistratfordian - Jun 27, 2014 at 9:38 PM

      I do wonder if there is an issue about chemistry with King George. There seems to be one.

      • bball242322 - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:50 AM

        I’m really happy that you as a Heat fan embrace the nickname King George. He deserves it

      • antistratfordian - Jun 28, 2014 at 8:38 PM

        I don’t have a problem with it. It fits his name. I like King Felix too on the Mariners. It’s just a nickname. I don’t get my undies in a bunch because I don’t think Paul Pierce is really that honest, or that Kobe is more like a rattlesnake than a black mamba. Some fans, you know…

      • antistratfordian - Jun 28, 2014 at 8:46 PM

        I don’t have a problem with it. It fits his last name well. If his last name was West or Hibbert he wouldn’t even have that nickname. Same with LBJ.

        Fans complain about the pettiest things. Nicknames are supposed to be fun exaggerations.

    • lenbias34pt - Jun 28, 2014 at 8:44 AM

      True.

      The reason (s) the Pacers fell apart was Hibbs stopped playing.

      2. Bird’s additions Turner and Bynum…..the 2 worst additions this season.

      3. Paul George wants Lebron to be his Best Friend Forever.

      Lance is a nut, but he is exactly what any team (certainly IND) needs if winning is the goal. Hilarious that Paul George is unsure if he wants Lance back. Yea that sounds about right. Paul wants a comfortable NBA ride full of All Star games and early round NBA playoff exits.

      • bball242322 - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:52 AM

        First of all, PG being friends with LBJ has nothing to do with anything. Stupid comment. LBJ is friends with Kobe, CP3, Melo, PG, list goes on and on. That doesn’t effect them competing their hardest to win.

        Secondly, you call 2 conference finals in a row an early exit? that’s an intelligent comment

      • lenbias34pt - Jun 28, 2014 at 2:32 PM

        Bball you have hurt my feelings.

        Stupid and not intelligent are very cruel things to say.

        As far as the topic, Paul George and his team have won a lot of games. You are right.
        Some might argue the East is weak, or that George has a far superior cast of team mates than other “super stars” and thus should have beaten a Heat team with 1 great player, and 2 fringe All stars and a cast of journeymen.

        We shall see how George does in the future. I feel like he lacks the character to be a winner, you disagree.

  8. ballin99999 - Jun 27, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    Lance was a second round pick so, no, the Pacers don’t have the right to match any offer he gets. If someone throws him a huge deal, he’ll be gone.

  9. spyder9669 - Jun 27, 2014 at 9:25 PM

    Bands’ll make her dance.

  10. csbanter - Jun 28, 2014 at 12:00 AM

    Lance should stay in Indy. 39 players went in front of him. Larry doesn’t deserve to have Bird S hit on him for taking a chance on Lance.

  11. campcouch - Jun 28, 2014 at 1:26 AM

    Rajon Rondo for Hibbert and Scola if Lance re-signs.

    • bball242322 - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:54 AM

      That’d be too much of a dream for the Pacers. Rondo would be a great fit for the Pacers, but I just don’t see a scenario where it’d happen. Nobody would want Hibby or Hill’s contracts. Way over-paid

      • campcouch - Jun 28, 2014 at 11:39 AM

        Still,Boston didn’t draft a new backcourt,especially Marcus Smart to be a backup, for nothing. I think the Celts are going to deal Rondo for value of course and finish their reboot. Sullinger and Hibbert would be a nice front court.

  12. qdog112 - Jun 28, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    Only Pacer not scared of Miami.

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