5 best destinations for Lance Stephenson, ranked
It might seem like he’s been around forever, but best believe Lance can still make ’em dance. Free agent guard Lance Stephenson, still only age 30 (surprising, right?), and he recently held a private workout on Friday, according to Chris Haynes.
Free agent guard Lance Stephenson will hold a private workout this morning in Las Vegas in front of NBA personnel with reps from Milwaukee, Denver, Philadelphia and Brooklyn among those expected to attend, league sources tell @YahooSports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) August 13, 2021
Stephenson averaged 26.7 points per game last year with the Flying Leopards in the Chinese Basketball Assocation – he clearly hasn’t lost his game. With several contending teams rumored to have attended, let’s rank what the top 5 suitors for Lance’s talents would be.
5. Los Angeles Lakers
The common perception of Lance Stephenson’s 2018-2019 season with the Lakers is that it was a mess, filled with more awkward gaffes than high-level production. However, upon closer inspection, Lance was surely not to blame for the Lakers’ woes. Stephenson shot 37.1% from beyond the arc and 47.2% inside it, which were both better than league average, and he proved to be a decent complement to a roster made for LeBron James’ first year in Hollywood. Though James was the sole All-Star, the team was primed as the four-seed in a competitive Western Conference until he went down with an injury. James, as the one who initially recruited Stephenson at the time, clearly feels that Stephenson’s game brings something unique and valuable (and funny) to the table.
4. Milwaukee Bucks
Lance figures to be an interesting fit for the Bucks, as his lack of athleticism and defensive prowess, combined with his ball dominant scoring style, contrasts with the Bucks’ modern game aimed at efficiency only – spot-up three-pointers, high-percentage shots at the basket, and length on the defensive end. But, seeing as the Bucks’ second-unit offense seemed a bit lethargic at times last year and especially struggled to hold leads when neither Giannis Antetokounmpo or Khris Middleton was on the floor, a guy like Lance could always help to spark instant offense.
3. Brooklyn Nets
The Nets seem like an odd fit for Lance, given that scoring is already their calling card. But I’d like to view his fit with the Nets in a similar light to how many view Russell Westbrook’s move to the Lakers. His ability to facilitate offense during regular season games can take the load off of Brooklyn’s big 3, allowing the Nets’ superstars to take on a bigger brunt of scoring come playoff time, when the games mean more and health is often the most important factor in winning. Brooklyn was ravaged with injuries throughout all of last season, so they could use the help. Giving Stephenson more scoring responsibility in their load management games could be a recipe for success.
2. Philadelphia 76ers
With Ben Simmons possibly on his way out of Philly real soon, it’s necessary to look at what the Sixers potential lineup will be in the upcoming campaign. In the event that he’s gone, the Sixers will need a scoring complement for Tyrese Maxey in the second unit. Lance averaged almost 16 points and over a steal per 36 minutes, on efficient shooting, during his last season in the NBA, so he clearly can provide meaningful minutes, which are crucial for a team led by Joel Embiid, who’s bound to miss at least a decent chunk of games every season.
1. Denver Nuggets
Denver’s three-headed monster at point guard with Jamal Murray, Facundo Campazzo, and Monte Morris is certainly a great depth display, but on it’s own still lacks the scoring punch required to dominate both against starting and second units. Though it’s a bit unfair to judge last year’s playoffs since Murray was hurt, it was clear that Nuggets guards struggled to keep pace even with the Suns’ second unit. Similarly to the way Torrey Craig provides an instant life-plug into the Suns offense at times, Stephenson could provide the punch with Morris to keep the Nuggets’ foot on the gas when Denver’s formidable starting lineup needs a rest.
Though Lance Stephenson is an eccentric personality who stirs up drama, it’s clear that he’s got plenty left in the tank.