Report: Pacers declining Lance Stephenson’s team option

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We got one last tango between LeBron James and Lance Stephenson.

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.

If Thaddeus Young opts out and the Pacers waive and stretch Al Jefferson ($4 million guaranteed of $10 million salary), Indiana could have about $33 million in cap space.

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.