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Report: Celtics also interested in Lance Stephenson

Jul 7, 2014, 7:56 PM EDT

Lance Stephenson, Jared Sullinger, Jordan Crawford Lance Stephenson, Jared Sullinger, Jordan Crawford

If the Pacers let Lance Stephenson leave, he might find an unforgiving market in free agency.

Plenty of question exist about Stephenson’s maturity and focus, and without question, some teams are turned off by his antics.

But at least a couple – and there could be overlap with the teams downgrading Stephenson due to his behavior – are interested in the guard. The Lakers and Mavericks view Stephenson as a fallback option if they don’t sign LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony.

Don’t leave out the Celtics among possible suitors.

Chris Broussard of ESPN:

The Celtics can offer just the non-taxpayer mid-level exception ($5,305,000 starting,$22,652,350 over four years). That falls well short of Indiana’s reported five-year, $44 million offer.

However, the unguaranteed deals of Keith Bogans, Phil Pressey,Chris Johnson andChris Babb make it much easier for Boston to build a compelling sign-and-trade package. Obviously, those players alone won’t fetch much, but they make a larger deal including draft picks and/young players financially feasible.

I wouldn’t get too concerned with the money, though.

The Celtics already have Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley in their backcourt, and they just drafted guards Marcus Smart and James Young in the first round. If Boston is in serious contention for Stephenson, more moves are likely in the pipeline.

This is probably a case of Danny Ainge wanting to insert himself into the biggest happenings. Maybe that’s by engineering a complex of transactions that lands Stephenson in Boston – or maybe it’s just leaking the Celtics’ interest when they don’t have the room to make a serious play.

  1. jetsfaninindy - Jul 7, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    Don’t be fooled. Someone is paying him $10+ million a year! I am not a fan. But
    I am paying him 10 mill before I give Gordon Hayward a max deal!

  2. RavenzGunnerz - Jul 7, 2014 at 8:03 PM

    Smart & Lance on the same team?

    The fans better behave.

  3. johnheisman - Jul 7, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    Perhaps the Celtics are looking for players to send to the T-wolves in a 3-way trade for Kevin Love. I don’t see a fit with Stephenson and the Celtics.

  4. sawick48 - Jul 7, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    a fit?! the celtics have 5.5 players that have any value whatsoever right now (and the jury is out on the .5 that is olynyk), 2 of which were just drafted a week ago. this team is nothing BUT a fit….for ANYONE lol

    that said…….Feldman nailed this in the middle of the article…..Danny just keeping his nose in play for the big headlines, hoping teams remember his team is out there and open for business

    MUCH more realistic that the Cs find themselves trying to absorb a bad deal and land a pick in the process (Thornton, Lin, etc) rather than make noise signing a big name FA. Boston doesnt ATTRACT people, but it’s good at KEEPING them once they end up there

  5. kingperk123 - Jul 7, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    Celtics should go after Thad young/Noel trade Jeff green

  6. adoombray - Jul 7, 2014 at 9:12 PM

    if he’s playing the 3 and they’re trading Jeff Green, then sure, but seriously way too many quality guards on the roster right now for the Celtics

  7. csbanter - Jul 7, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    A Lance & Smart backcourt would be the strongest physically in the NBA.

  8. 1historian - Jul 7, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    Ainge is playing games, planting rumors, just to see what happens.

    Once LBJ makes up his mind – then the excrement will hit the air circulator and the real fun will start.

    Stephenson is not the kind of player for Boston – they are looking at Isaiah Thomas and Hayward from Seattle, and next year there will be a bumper crop of free agents. They are taking their time and when the time is right Ainge will strike.

  9. johnc44 - Jul 7, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    Don`t be surprised if Rondo ends up in Indy.He`s not resigning in Boston.He`s from Louisville and wants to play in Indiana.He can refuse to sign an extension with another team making it hard for Boston to get full value elsewhere.Indy could do a sign and trade with Lance & send Hibbert & a 1st for Rondo,Olynyk & take on G.Wallace and the 2 years 20 million left on his deal that Boston would love to dump.
    Not only do Bird and Ainge have a great relationship but Stevens and Vogel are close also and Stevens loves defense and big centers.

    • bhunter1995 - Jul 7, 2014 at 10:58 PM

      The Pacers need more floor spacing, not less floor spacing, Rondo = clogged lanes unless you have stretch big men. The Celtics got away with it because they had KG at the four, and later the five, but with the Pacers he will create more problems then he solves. Yes he can create plays but how good will their offense be when they have three guys who cant shoot from outside. West can hit the occasional 16 footer, but he misses more then he makes, and Hibbert can’t space the floor worth a damn. If Indiana wants to target a PG this offseason, go for Isiah Thomas, Lin (If they don’t mind the poison pill contract year) and they should make an offer to Bledsoe (even though the Suns will probably match the offer, it’s worth a shot).

      • johnc44 - Jul 8, 2014 at 7:30 AM

        As i said i think Hibbert will be in the deal so the spacing improves greatly there.
        I know Stevens likes Hibbert .He likes size & defense from his centers and Sullinger needs to play the 4.Olynyk will help space the floor but Rondo will get George & West much easier shots.Hill can not break down the defense.Rondo can drive which brings the defense in and creates spacing.

    • imakcds - Jul 8, 2014 at 9:39 AM

      only people that might be surprised if Rondo leaves would be the entire Celtic fan base.

    • imakcds - Jul 8, 2014 at 9:40 AM

      only people that would be surprised if Rondo leaves would be the entire Celtic fan base

    • 1historian - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:11 PM

      Not a chance. The Celts already have 3 7′ centers and Hibbert stunk up the joint last season toward the end.

  10. 1historian - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:05 PM

    And maybe you don’t really know what you’re talking about, just like the other bloggers.

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