After completing his fourth 10-day contract following Wednesday’s loss to the Orlando Magic, Lance Stephenson is signing a contract with the Pacers for the remainder of the season, reports The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Earning the full deal after averaging 9.4 points and 4.2 assists in 17 games, Stephenson’s biggest impact has come in the form of manipulating the pick-and-roll, where according to Synergy, Indiana has scored 1.13 points per possession whenever he feeds a roll man, cutter, or spot-up shooter when dribbling off a screen — a mark which exceeds that of LeVert (0.991), who more frequently goes away from picks in search of scoring opportunities.
With a week to go until the trade deadline, Stephenson will most likely continue to run offense for the second unit, unless another move is made or Malcolm Brogdon (sore Achilles) and T.J. McConnell (wrist surgery), both of whom are under contract through the 2024-25 season, unexpectedly return to action.
Carrying a full roster, the Pacers will now lack somewhat in flexibility ahead of the deadline in terms of how many players they can take back in a potential trade without waiving someone, but Stephenson isn’t eligible to sign another standard 10-day deal this season, and for a team already down by numerous bodies, he would revert to inactive status on hardship deal, if Sabonis were to clear health and safety protocols earlier than expected.
According to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files, Stephenson’s rest-of-the-season contract is not a multi-year deal, which means he will be a free agent this summer — when the Pacers will have to evaluate how they envision the roster and whether enough handling will be available to justify retaining him alongside McConnell, with Duane Washington Jr. and Terry Taylor both impressing on two-way contract.