Lance Stephenson, Jared Sullinger, Jordan Crawford

Report: Dallas, Charlotte only other serious suitors for Lance Stephenson so far outside Indiana


While Lance Stephenson thought he was an All-Star, a lot of executives saw a guy of average efficiency — some nights triple doubles but more nights a lot of missed shots and opportunities — and his blowing-in-the-ear antics and thought, “the price is going to be too high for the risk.”

Indiana made its offer — five years, $44 million.

Stephenson wants more and is betting if he is patient better offers will come in now that the market is shaking out and teams missed on LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. However, so far those offers are not as plentiful has expected, reports Sean Deveney at the Sporting News.

According to the source, the remaining serious suitors for Stephenson are expected to be Charlotte, Dallas — if and when the Rockets match the Mavs’ offer sheet for Chandler Parsons — and Indiana. Several teams mentioned in connection with Stephenson, including Boston, Chicago and the Lakers, have not been serious in their pursuit, the source said, while others could register late interest.

Stephenson, 23, has an all-around game and averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists a game last season, but his pedestrian PER of 14.7 gives some indications of why there are misgivings about his efficiency. Not to mention maturity.

But he’s a potential young star — Dallas and Charlotte need that.

Both also likely would try to reduce their risk with a shorter deal and more money per year, something Dallas is reportedly considering if they make an offer. Would Stephenson take two years and a little more than $20 million, or would he want the lower per year money but security of the Pacers five-year offer?

Look for the Stephenson rumor mill to start to heat up in the coming days.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.