With the injury to Paul George the Indiana Pacers desperately could use some more shot creation. Like they got from Lance Stephenson last season when he wasn’t blowing in people’s ears.
It just so happens that after early struggles and chemistry issues, the Charlotte Hornets happen to want to trade Stephenson and his actually reasonable contract (for his talent level). This has led to trade rumors and at least some level of talks between the Hornets and Pacers about bringing Stephenson back to Indy, with Indiana’s owner saying he’s sign off on the deal if Larry Bird wants to pull the trigger.
However, the Pacers players feel differently, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.
Locker room chemistry issues have followed Stephenson — he has clashed with Hornets’ teammates already this season — and there is no team is out there thinking right now “what we need is a bad actor in this locker room?”
It is possible Stephenson gets moved closer to the trade deadline, there might be a team willing to gamble on his talent (again, it’s a reasonable contract with two-years, $18 million after this season and the second of those years is a player option). For now, after being underwhelmed by the offers that came in, the Hornets have pulled back from Stephenson trade talks.
The thing is, until he plays a lot closer to last season’s form, and until he shows he’s not going to blow up another locker room, no team is going to take a serious run at trading for him.