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Report: Lance Stephenson in talks to return to Pacers

Lance Stephenson, Pacers

Lance Stephenson is in “strong talks ” to return to the Indiana Pacers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

Nothing has been finalized yet, and Stephenson still needs clearance from his Chinese team and FIBA.

This would be Stephenson’s third stint with the Pacers if he signs a new deal. The guard started his career in Indiana after being the 40th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft out of Cincinnati. He became a key cog on the Frank Vogel-coached Pacers squads, building up a tense rivalry with LeBron James and the Miami Heat.

Stephenson bounced around a bit after leaving Indiana for a lucrative contract with the Charlotte Hornets in 2014. He spent time with the Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans and Minnesota Timberwolves before returning to Indiana late in the 2016-17 season. He spent the entire 2017-18 season with the Pacers, appearing in all 82 games.

The 29-year-old joined the Los Angeles Lakers last season, playing 68 games and averaging 7.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists. With no NBA deal in place for this season, he signed a deal with the Liaoning Flying Leopards in China.

The Pacers are eyeing Stephenson in the wake of Malcolm Brogdon’s injury. The starting guard is set to miss at least few weeks with a quadriceps injury. Indiana has already lost Jeremy Lamb for the season, and Victor Oladipo is still trying to find his groove.

The Pacers are 38-25 on the season, which is good for fifth in the Eastern Conference.