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.
NEW YORK (AP) — Craig Sager’s fight with leukemia will prevent the basketball sideline reporter form covering the Rio Olympics for NBC.
NBC said Thursday in a statement that the 65-year-old Sager is preparing for a third bone marrow transplant at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Sager was first diagnosed with leukemia in 2014 and announced in March that he was no longer in remission.
The Rio Games would have been Sager’s fifth Olympics.
Sager has worked for Turner Sports for 34 years. At the ESPY Awards this month, Vice President Joe Biden presented Sager with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.