Los Angeles Lakers utility man Lance Stephenson has been a complete hassle for opponents (and sometimes for teammates) during his NBA career. Nobody knows that better than current teammate LeBron James, and although Stephenson has started to age out of some of his skills it will be interesting to see what he can contribute in LA this year.
According to Stephenson, he believes that LeBron’s intimate knowledge of his skill-set will help the team deploy him better. In fact, Stephenson told the Indianapolis Star that James is likely to help direct Stevenson toward opponents himself.
“Yeah, he’s probably going to sic me on people,” Stephenson said. “It’ll be fun. It will be a very interesting year, just playing with him and winning games with him.”
Stephenson turns 28 in just a few days, but his statistics have started to wane as he has jumped around from team-to-team over the last couple of seasons. Individual defensive statistics aren’t completely trustworthy, but it should be noted that Stephenson’s defensive box plus-minus and VORP have not been as impressive as they were when he peaked with the Indiana Pacers early in his career.
The Lakers have a ramshackle roster built to create cap space for the summer of 2019. In the meantime, what happens next is anyone’s guess. The two most likely outcomes are either an odd form of success from imperfect pieces or a complete implosion.
Either way, the Lakers are going to be a must-watch this season.