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NBA Free Agency: Lance Stephenson pining for Pacers return, Roy Hibbert to join Hornets

Two former Pacers were a big part of the Fourth of July NBA free agency frenzy with reports of a potential reunion between Lance and the Pacers along with a new destination for Hibbert.

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The Pacers don't need Lance Stephenson, yet there he is.

Despite the fact a return seems odd, there has been plenty of noise indicating the Pacers are seriously considering a reunion with the former shooting guard who started in the Eastern Conference Finals. But unless the Pacers have a deal involving Monta Ellis and/or Rodney Stuckey, the idea of signing Lance makes little sense.

Between Ellis, Stuckey and the hopeful emergence of Glenn Robinson III, the Pacers are stocked with active shooting guards that no one describes as shooters.

Regardless, the news started Sunday with a tip Evan Morris received that the Pacers do intend to sign Stephenson. On Monday, Nate Taylor heard from Lance's agent and confirmed a mutual interest between the two. Taylor is covering the Pacers in Orlando so he likely didn't have his questions about Lance shot down by the team.

Scott Agness reached out to Lance and found him very receptive to the idea of returning to Indy.

So now we wait to see if something actually happens and when it does, hopefully it makes more sense. Along with the bad roster fit, the Pacers are trying to revamp the culture, expectations and accountability at the Fieldhouse while still building around Paul George.

George Hill's exit was comparable to Frank Vogel's in altering the team chemistry to reset expectations. Hill and PG were left to lead the Pacers last year as equals but had too many letdowns throughout the season. Now it is PG's team which he will lead while answering to a new coach.

Lance won't be returning to a similar environment with David West in charge and PG able to defer leadership responsibilities. It sure seems like Lance could be a threat to PG growing as that leader to go along with his role as franchise star.

So far this offseason, Larry Bird has added veteran players who understand the pro game and can fill roles surrounding PG. That's not how I'd describe Lance. What do you think?

Also, speaking of starters on past Easter Conference Finals teams, Roy Hibbert signed a one-year, $5 million deal, according to Woj. After a disappointing season with the Lakers, Hibbert will find himself in a much better situation playing for Steve Clifford with the Hornets who also have former Georgetown mentor, Patrick Ewing on staff. Hibbert should get an opportunity to fill a role vacated by Al Jefferson after he signed with the Pacers.