Chuck Burton / Associated Press
The Indiana Pacers announced that they declined their team option in the Lance Stephenson contract. The guard would have won $ 4.36 million in the next season, but will enter free agency.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported the move for the first time.
"Ever since I was young, I've always believed in myself," Stephenson said in an Instagram post. "Ready for all the challenges, I always raised my head and prepared myself for all that GOD would put me through. MAN I LOVE THIS GAME & BORNREADY. & # 39;
The 27 year old averaged 9.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game this season, both were the highest since his first round with the team in 2013-14.
When leaving Indiana for the first time, Stephenson played for five organizations over a period of three years. He rejoined the Pacers in March 2017 on a three-year contract with a third-year team option.
Stephenson appeared in the 82 games this season, making a positive impact from the bench with an average of 22.6 minutes. per game, he also averaged 12.5 points per game in 11 postseason games over the last two seasons, all against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Stephenson has averaged 11.1 points per game in the playoffs over the course of his career compared with his career. 8.8 points per game in the regular season. While he was a favorite of fans sometimes in Indiana, head coach Nate McMillan knows that there were also drawbacks to his playing style. 19659005] "He does some good things and then we have to … we just have to look at him carefully," McMillan said this season, according to the team's official website. "Some of those plays can cost you, you have to be able to control your emotions, going to the limit."
Stephenson also lacked efficiency, ending the season with minus 0.3 wins in offense and plus / minus minus-2.1 frame, by reference to basketball.
Indiana already has a star in the guard in Victor Oladipo, and Bojan Bogdanovic is also a threat in the wing. That reduces the need for the Pacers to have another option in the perimeter.
Considering Stephenson's struggles outside of Indiana and the lack of salary space in the league, the bodyguard could face a cold market this summer.