With the NBA Draft fast approaching, and the Early Entry List set, it's time to examine more in depth some of the players who could be available for each of the Pacers three picks. (I am operating under the assumption Dallas will be sending us their 2nd round pick this year, not next, to complete the Shawne Williams deal. June 1st is the final deadline for Dallas to decide.)
Obviously, the Pacers 1st Round pick is the most exciting and has the most potential for value. As we need a lot of improvement in all areas, I will be looking at players who should be available for all three picks. My plan is to post two profiles a day, for 2nd rounders, until the Draft Lottery on May 18th. After the team's first round position is finalized, I'll begin profiling 1st Rounders.
These profiles cover players I believe have some value to offer the Pacers next season and in the future. These profiles are not intended to advocate for one player over another, just examine their strengths and weaknesses, and discuss in some detail what they have to offer. For each profile I provided Ten Important Statistics to guide the discussion. When discussing how each player can help the Pacers I will try to specifically reference the team needs I identified in Setting the Table for the Pacers Summer. Here is who we will be looking at today:
Lance Stephenson - SG - 6'5" 200 lbs. - University of Cincinnati
- Stephenson has a decent physical profile. He has good size for the shooting guard position, and a significant strength advantage over most of his opponents. He uses this strength to his benefit when attacking the basket.
- Although his percentages would indicate otherwise, he has decent amount of offensive diversity. He can attack the basket, hit the mid-range jumper, overpower smaller opponents in the post, and has the potential for 3PT range.
- He is an above average rebounder for his position.
- Stephenson does a decent job competing at the defensive end, and uses his strength well. He has the potential to be a capable NBA defender.
- Lance Stephenson can do this:
- Absolutely, positively, terrible shot selection. 85% of his used possessions last season ended with him taking a shot. Stephenson came from a high school program where we was encouraged to shoot anytime he felt like it. These bad habits don't seem to have been addressed in his one year at Cincinnati.
- Despite his size and strength, Stephenson is extremely average in terms of speed, quickness and leaping ability. He could certainly stand to shed some weight and improve his conditioning.
- He turns the ball over a ton, and doesn't get to the line nearly as much as he should given his offensive skill set.
- There are some serious questions about his character and decision making off the court.
How he can help the Pacers -
- Lance Stephenson has undeniable potential as a scorer. Right now he is a long way off from being able to translate those abilities to the NBA, but he does have the ability. He has as much upside and potential as anyone at the end of the second round.
- He could be a very different player with a serious commitment to conditioning and developing his body.
- He can bring some swagger and toughness to the wing position. For better or worse, I think he genuinely believes he is always the best player on the floor.
- He is young, having only played one year of college basketball. Taking a player like Stephenson at the end of the second round gives the Pacers a chance to be patient and wait for him to develop. If the team liked him enough they could give him 2 or 3 years guaranteed like they did for Price, and then send him to the D-League where he can play every night.
More Information -
- Lance Stephenson Draftexpress Profile
- Lance Stephenson ESPN Draft Card
- Lance Stephenson NBADraft.net Player Card