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Lance Stephenson headed to China on 1-year, $4 million deal

Lance Stephenson

Former Los Angeles Lakers forward Lance Stephenson has decided to play overseas, agreeing to a one-year, $4 million deal to join the Liaoning Flying Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association. Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reports.

Last season, Stephenson averaged 7.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 16.5 minutes per game for the Lakers. He was signed by the Purple and Gold to a one-year deal, with the primary task of being a mentor to their young core. He was also one of the team’s primary options off the bench. Lance was able to do a decent job for the Lakers. Unfortunately, he wasn’t re-signed by the team, who opted to go after more experienced veterans instead.

Stephenson waited for at least an entire month to see if he can get another NBA contract, but no team gave him a call, so he ultimately decided to take his talents to China.

The Flying Leopards finished last season with the second-best record in the league. Unfortunately, they were not able to make it to the Finals. Adding Stephenson will definitely bolster their roster next season and will give them a better shot at contending for a championship.

Even though he’s headed to China, it is possible for Stephenson to still make it to the NBA sometime in the future. He will most likely gain significant interest from teams in the final stretch of the 2018-19 season in order to strengthen their chances of making a deep playoff run.

If not, Lance will most likely wait for the 2019-20 season and try his luck once more.