Actions always speak louder than words, so despite what the Pacers say, whether it be Larry Bird, Frank Vogel or Roy Hibbert, if they wanted to bring back Lance Stephenson this season they would have.
So why would they trade for him now?
Stephenson took his pride and signed with the Charlotte Hornets and according to Grantland's Zach Lowe, the warm welcome is now worn out for Lance which may make him available after Dec. 15 when the Hornets can trade him.It hasn't worked.
Charlotte ranks 27th in points per 100 possessions, and Stephenson has been a train wreck. He's shooting just 37 percent overall and a ghastly 7-of-38 from deep. He passes up open 3s, choosing instead to whip out an array of fancy crossovers and behind-the-back jobs that go nowhere. Stephenson's drive-and-dish game has opened up good looks for teammates, but his shooting issues have outweighed his bursts of productive creativity.
He's clanking almost every pull-up jumper on the pick-and-roll, which means that when Stephenson can't get all the way to the cup, he's a borderline liability. Opposing defenses know that Stephenson won't pull from deep, and they've taken an extra step or so away from him when he doesn't have the ball.
What if the Pacers were able to move Luis Scola and C.J. Miles for Lance? That would be tempting, if the Pacers weren't left with Lance.
Lance is an alpha dog but just doesn't have the full game (offense, defense, leadership, etc.) to produce like an alpha dog and since the Pacers have another alpha dog in Paul George the combo was never going to work. Plus, Solomon Hill is suddenly developing into a legitimate compliment to PG on the wing.
No doubt, Lance would jump at the chance to return to Indy now as he struggles in a new environment while shooting less than 20% from behind the arc. But that would only work if a humbled Stephenson returned willing to play supporting role along with this Pacers team that has shown sharing the ball can work.
Humbled Lance? Yeah, that's not going to happen.
Thanks to jcolsto for the FanPost on the Lance story. Go check it out and vote on whether you'd like the Pacers to pursue Stephenson if he actually hits the trade market.