Now, LeBron and his chief irritant are heading into uncertain offseasons that could result in them no longer matching up in the playoffs.
The Pacers will decline Stephenson’s $4.36 million team option for next season, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Indiana will reportedly guarantee Bojan Bogdanovic‘s $10.5 million salary for next season. Pacers president Kevin Pritchard said the team would keep Darren Collison. I’ll assume that means guaranteeing Collison’s $10 million salary rather than waiving him ($2 million guaranteed) and attempting to re-sign him for less.
That’d go a long way in this market.
Even if Young ($13,764,045 player-option salary) opts in, the Pacers should be a major player in free agency. They’re coming off a surprisingly strong year and positioned to get even better.
After they hunt better wings, they could even bring back Stephenson at a lower salary. He seemingly plays well with only Indiana, but maybe the Pacers have just had enough of him.
If they don’t want to re-sign him at a lower cost, it’s not a certainty he gets an NBA job next season.