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Report: Pacers’ five-year, $44 million offer to Lance Stephenson has him looking elsewhere

Jul 2, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

Apparently, producing a movie wasn’t enough.

The Pacers might have made an entertaining pitch to Lance Stephenson, but they didn’t follow it with a strong enough contract offer.

Chris Broussard of ESPN:

Keeping their current 10 players under contract, adding two minimum-salary players and re-signing Stephenson to form a 13-man roster, the Pacers could offer Stephenson a five-year, $45,630,867 contract and remain below the projected luxury-tax line.

The reported offer falls a little shy of that, but not much. Indiana might want room to add a 14th or 15th player or tweak the roster in other helpful ways, but I don’t think that’s worth losing Stephenson. If he walks, the Pacers have very limited means to replace him.

[MORE: The Top 50 free agents for summer of 2014]

Plus, Indiana would have until the end of the regular season to make other moves to duck the luxury tax. The Pacers might not want to flirt with that line, but it’s at least an option.

Paul George making the All-NBA third team, triggering a higher salary, is really biting Indiana here. If George received fewer votes, the Pacers would have much more room to operate.

As it stands, waiving Luis Scola and his partially guaranteed salary is probably Indiana’s simplest option to clear extra space. However, Scola reached milestones last season that make such a measure less effective.

Tim Donahue of 8 Points, 9 Seconds:

Here’s the backstory of Scola’s deal: Originally, the salary ($11.0 million) for the final year on his deal (2014-15) was completely non-guaranteed. However, the deal said that the season could become partially or completely guaranteed if he met certain criteria over the first four years of the deal. It would have become fully guaranteed, had he been voted as a starter to the All-Star game. Other than that, he could get $500,000 guaranteed each year that he played 85% of his teams games and made the playoffs, and another $500,000 each year he either played in all 82 of his team games or played in 85% of his team’s games and the team went at least .500.

By the time he was amnestied by Houston in the summer of 2012, he had twice met those criteria (thus guaranteeing himself $1.0 million), but the Rockets are on the hook for part of that ($559,000). Then Scola earned another $500,000 with Phoenix by playing all 82 games, and he got another $1.0mm by (a) playing 85% of the games this year with Indiana and making playoffs, and (b) playing 82 games (also playing 85% on a .500 team).

That all adds up to $2.5 million guaranteed next year, though Indy is only on the hook for $1.9 million of it.

If the Pacers waive Scola and replace him with a minimum-salary player, they could offer Stephenson up to $57,012,360 over five years. That should be more than enough to reach a deal.

Stephenson should look around to leverage a higher offer, whether in Indiana or elsewhere. He’s earned that right. After making just $3.36 million over the last four years, it’s time to get paid.

If the Pacers want to keep Scola over paying Stephenson, that’s their prerogative. It also might be Stephenson’s prerogative to leave at that point.

  1. djstickypants - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:08 AM

    Fart noise

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:49 AM

      everything is noise, noise, noise…

      it’s the smell that is bad…

  2. connorchew - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:08 AM

    I hope that he goes somewhere like philly or charlotte so that he can really show what he’s got.

  3. chrisswitzer2189 - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    Pacers management is the reason why they won’t win a championship. A solid starting 5 with an ok bench. If they just spent some money over the cap then they could probably win a championship.

  4. scoochpooch - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    Lance sucks, let him go. He’ll be a nobody in 2 years.

    • frank35sox - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:37 AM

      Thanks for letting everyone know that one of the following statements describes you: 1.) I know nothing about basketball 2.) I am a racist 3.) I am some combination of both.

      • andreboy1 - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:40 AM

        His comment in no way implies.

        But you are definitely a race baiter.

      • azarkhan - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:57 AM

        He’s a racist? You’re obviously an Obot, which is another way of saying you’re a mindless moron.

  5. saint1997 - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    Don’t like the fit in LA or Chicago due to roster and cap issues respectively, but I’ve been suggesting the Hornets for quite some time. I think he would be just what that roster needs, especially after the addition of Vonleh to help with floorspacing, his defence would fit in well with Clifford’s system

    • pl4tinum514 - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:12 AM

      clifford is in charlotte
      hornets are in new orleans

      • deeballer - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:37 AM

        Have you been in a cave for a while? Charlotte changed their name back to the Hornets again and New Orleans is now known as the Pelicans. Welcome to the present.

      • patfic5 - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:48 AM

        Fail. I almost awarded one thumbs up out of sheer pity. Nahhhh, thumb down!

      • davidtmp - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:59 AM

        Oh wow…..The NO Hornets have been defunct since before LAST season….NO was the Pelicans this past season, while Charlotte has been working in the back ground to get the name back that should NEVER have left in the first place. I’m hoping you’ve been in a comatose state for a couple years and didn’t know….if not, wake up dude!

    • unxpexted1 - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      I do like him on the Hornets, but they desperately need some shooting. But him in Kemba would be a pretty tenacious backcourt. I can see the move. But they wouldnt be able to spread the floor at all. Kemab, Lance, and MKG….gonna be clogged paints all year long.

      • saint1997 - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:46 PM

        Yeah you’re right, I still like MKG and maybe they can bring him off the bench but they probably would need to trade for a sweet shooting 3 if they grabbed Lance

  6. haaaaasoooooo - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:44 AM

    Haha!!! That’s less than Larry sanders!!!

    • antistratfordian - Jul 2, 2014 at 2:09 PM

      Larry Sanders is 6-11.

  7. djlexluger - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:50 AM

    He knows nothing about basketball because Lance can ball.

  8. jzone954 - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    “Built not bought” blue Collar gol…whatever

    • cruzan80 - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:23 AM

      Unlike Miami’s LeBron, Bosh, Ray Allen, Birdman, Battier & Miller…..the Pacers DRAFTED Stephenson.

      So…umm….yeah…”Built not bought”.

    • bball242322 - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:49 PM

      Swagger**

  9. ravenswhat - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    The heat should get him. He and Lebron can handle the ball with someone like Napier filling in where needed. Put lance, Lebron, wade, bosh and Napier when going small. Sign a serviceable big man for the vet min.

    Do this!!

    • azarkhan - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:59 AM

      The Lance can really blow LeBron.

    • therealhtj - Jul 2, 2014 at 11:09 AM

      Problem is, the Heat have been trying to bring in a serviceable big since day 1. If they were really freeing up the kind of cap they claim, not going hard after Gortat when they had a chance was a big mistake. Another wing player can be found a lot more easily than a quality 4/5.

  10. reesesteel23 - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    Dribble Happy/Ear-blowing Lance and Kobe on the same team? I would definitely tune in to watch that lol

  11. mnsadsportsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    Good pacers need to be done with stephenson.

    • therealhtj - Jul 2, 2014 at 11:11 AM

      Agreed. Not hearing from those small market blowhards crowing nonsense like “built, not bought” or some other excuse as to why they can’t get over the hump. Then they won’t have to worry about losing in the conference finals yet again. The following year when Hibbert leaves too, they won’t even have to worry about the playoffs.

      • bball242322 - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:50 PM

        moron

      • therealhtj - Jul 2, 2014 at 2:59 PM

        There go those good old fashioned midwestern values. Knowing you have no other conceivable way to improve, and letting Lance walk will only make you worse, you need to resort to name calling to feel better about that. Top it off with the well known rift between Hibbert and PG, you’ll be back in the lottery in no time. Hope you draft well!

  12. campcouch - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    Let him go Larry.

  13. unxpexted1 - Jul 2, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    I’m not sure how kobe and lance would work. Both of them are 2’s who are undersized at the 3. Not seeing that going down.

  14. 1heatedtoombrayduh - Jul 2, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    I honestly think that may be TOO much money vs not enough for him…he’s rather inconsistent but hey I guess thats why i work a 9-5 and not in a franchise’s front office lol

  15. jzone954 - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    Here’s you’re standing ovation because you “drafted” Lance, how has that worked out for the pacers the last 3 years against Miami? And I heard from most Pacer fans that the most David West seems to the be corner stone of that team no?

    • bball242322 - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      God another idiot

  16. irvfin3 - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    To be honest I think Stephenson should be paid more around 9-10M. He was the Pacers’ second best player. However, Stephenson isn’t their main concern. Pacers’ main concern has been something they’ve failed to address these past couple of seasons. A LEGIT PG!!!!!

  17. rajbais - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    I respect lance as a player, but he’s only worthy of 5 years w/a team option after 2 years.

    He needs to be given a team option due to his tendency to be a pain in the rear.

  18. lenbias34pt - Jul 2, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    Lance is a special talent, with rare heart and energy.
    But,
    If it’s my team i would be real excited to have him as my highest paid player…..course i’d much rather have him as my highest paid player than George or Hibbert, but this is Larry Bird’s mess.
    If the Pacers had Plumlee and Green right now we’d be talking about the Pacers as a young team with a deep bench. . . . as it stands the Pacers will lose Lance and quickly have a very average team.

  19. wowwowbad - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:55 PM

    He’s a crazy guy but 5 yrs/$44 mill is simply not gonna cut it. Hey, Avery Bradley got 4 yrs/$32 and Lance is a way better player than him. He’s gonna get paid over 10mil a year somewhere(the Suns?) unless those conspirators in the NBA try to play some tricks. He’s a young guy needed to be discipline but his talent is there without doubt.

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