Lakers Nation Debate: Should The Lakers Pursue Lance Stephenson?

Lakers Nation Debate: Should The Lakers Pursue Lance Stephenson?


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Topic: As one of the best unrestricted free agents available, but also a bit of a hot head, should the Lakers pursue Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson this off-season?

Context: The Lakers are in the midst of a re-build with only three players under contract right now. The team has only one draft pick and very little to offer in a trade, meaning the team is most likely to do most of its work in free agency.

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There are many options available, both restricted and unrestricted, but one of the most intriguing is Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson — an unrestricted free agent.

Stephenson has made a lot of headlines for his antics during the Eastern Conference Finals. Trying to get inside the head of LeBron James, Stephenson was seen blowing into James’ ear, tapping James on the chin, and smacking Norris Cole in the face.

Not to mention, with the Pacers going into a complete tailspin over the second half of the season, Stephenson was believed to have played a role in the Pacers’ struggles. Even star player Paul George couldn’t give a straight answer when asked if he wanted Stephenson back on the Pacers next year.

The talent of Stephenson is impossible to deny, however. He averaged 14 points, seven rebounds, and nearly five assists while leading the NBA with five triple-doubles. Additionally, his length and strength allows him to guard three positions effectively.

Stephenson is the ultimate risk-reward case for NBA teams. If a team can channel his intensity and limit his antics, he offers a lot on the court, but does that mean he is a fit in purple and gold?

Verdict: We went to Twitter and asked our Lakers Nation faithful, should the Lakers pursue Lance Stephenson in free agency? And if so, how much is he worth? These are some of the responses:

The Lakers Nation faithful is relatively split, but leaning towards the stay away from Stephenson camp. His antics over the last season clearly did not endear him to most fans. I, however, am in the minority on this subject.

Metta World Peace became one of the most beloved Lakers in recent memory. He took ill-advised shots, did some un-intelligent things both on and off the court, and constantly had to work to control his emotions.

But at the end of the day, you could rely on him to play his heart out every night, and I believe the same holds for Stephenson. The Lakers need toughness, someone who won’t be pushed around. Since World Peace and Fisher left, the Lakers have lacked that edge.

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Not to mention, Stephenson is extremely talented and has shown that he can guard players bigger than him because of his length and strength. If a player can not be overpowered by LeBron James, then he can guard pretty much anyone.

The key to bringing Stephenson in, however, will be having a strong head coach. Someone who commands respect, like a Byron Scott, would be able to rein in Stephenson’s negatives and show off the positives. With the right coach, Stephenson is worth the risk for around $6-9 million per year in my opinion.
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  • lakers_824

    YES for sure i dont care how many antics he does….this man can play defense and can be out artest he can be out leonard he can guard the best players on opposing teams so kobe doesnt have to. Also his court vision is a plus aswelll as his ability to finish around the rim. Under the right coach and kobe by his side im sure he will become more mature.

    • LakerForLifeNJ

      Defense wins champion! and for that, Lance should not be excluded in Lakers radar. Yes, with the right coach, Lance will def a big help!

      • Badazztj12

        Hope its Hollins though

        • Wyatt

          I want Lionel Hollins coaching the Lakers.Lakers love him.

          • DensieMorrisou

            as Thelma
            explained I cannot believe that a stay at home mom can make $7420 in four weeks
            on the internet . more info here R­e­x­1­0­.­C­O­M­

        • nlruizjr

          No, this is a job for BScott, why would Lance want to look up to Hollins, he’d laugh in his face, on the otherhand, BScott would knock him on his ass but he wouldn’t have to because Lance knows what BScott has accomplished both as a player and as a coach and when Lance steps on court and sees all those banners, he’ll know the difference between the Pacers and the Lakers, period, no BS accepted on this team !!!!!

          • VillainKing™

            No Lionel Hollins will be much more greater coach for the Lakers than BScott!!!!

          • Badazztj12

            Yea but he has a up-tempo offensive and you sure you want kobe running his ass off and get injuried again? He also preaches rebounding and that’s what we need. His Defensive system is also better than scott. When he was with the grizzles, his team in 3 years ranked from 21 to 4 in the Nba.

  • Big Hitter

    It’s funny how old man Mitch puts you folks up to these type of question lol.He pays ya’ll or what???Any who whatever somehow ya’ll always lurking to gauge interest from us loyal die hard Lakers fans.I vote yes on Lance Stephenson,he is certainly the type of crazy we need right now with all these soft boys running around.We need a thug a fuck boy that would strangle someone for calling him bitch.Lakers all in to win and don’t fuck around and get smoked by other squads in the NBA.

    • Badazztj12


  • Santos

    Yes sir pay Lance Stephenson,he is very competitive as he challenged O.J. Mayo at the time the best senior in the Nation.Lance Stephenson was only in eighth grade and he got up in the face of O.J. Mayo and yelled at him challenging him to a game one on one.O.J. Mayo versus Lance Stephenson well Lance held his own and he won 4 straight high school state championships and he is regarded as one of the best NYC players ever.Only 23 years old it’s a no brainer yes do it get him.

  • Sam Saab

    yes please! get lance…. trade our 7th pick for kyrie irving and we are definetly back in the playoffs

    • VillainKing™

      Yes Lakers must sign Mr. Lance but trading the 7th pick big NO!!!!

      • borsalino12

        No to Lance Stephenson and YES on trading the pic for 2 first round pics. Fuck U VK. He,he,he,hehh !

        • VillainKing™

          Why did you change again your avatar borslaino12???Yes to Stephenson and Fuck You borsalino12..hehehehh

  • Tune

    I’d say for 4-5mil/year and he’s a solid choice. We need more athletic players that play on both sides of the court. He’s strong on both ends of the court, brings energy to the team, and he’s raised to the occasion many times. His first 2 games against Miami were very strong then the rest might not be anything special scoring wise, he played solid defense with rebounding and assists. He’s easily a double double and at times triple double machine with good hustle due to his athleticism. People have been blowing his antics out of proportion, many other good players have pulled antics or trash talked that most admire. The only difference is the Pacers main 2 guys (PG and Hibbert) choked. Lance and West were solid with Hill pretty much doing what he has always been expected to do (be slightly decent).

  • Alex

    Yup if the Lakers hire Lionel Hollins as head coach yes Lance Stephenson would become his Tony Allen immediately.Draft Marcus Smart and now you have a big 2 way player that specializes on defense,he is the most powerful point guard in the NBA from day 1,Smart plays shutdown defense like a NFL shutdown cornerback.When teams see Lance Stephenson and Marcus Smart in the Lakers lineup they will be scared and intimidated.Bully ball is a to win in the NBA.Lakers should hire Lionel Hollins as head coach and then hire Derek Fisher as Associate Head Coach on the job training to become the successor of Lionel Hollins in like 4 or 5 years.That’s if they both want to coach together.If not then just hire Lionel.

    • Tune

      I agree 100%

      • Alex

        Thank you.:)

        • VillainKing™

          Agree!!!!!Marcus Smart And Lance Stephenson playing at 1 and 2 possession then Kobe Bryant at 3 WOW that was nice.. The DEFENSE of the Lakers will be impressive with the combination of this players being coached by Lionel Hollins..Most bad-ass back court in the NBA!!!!!

          • borsalino12

            Hey WK. How do you like my new avatar? This is the new Lakers addition from the draft. He says hello to you.

          • VillainKing™

            I think your avatar is not happening..will see if it’s going to be true in June 26 because for me Marcus Smart is coming here in L.A. Lakers..heheeheh..I Says Fuck you to you borsalino12!!!

          • nlruizjr

            Hate to burst your bubble but Smart doesn’t want to play for the Lakers, didn’t you see his interview, “I could but we’ll see”, means NO to the Lakers, you have to read between the lines. On the otherhand there are 4 that could be available for the 7th pick that have already stated they definitely want to play for the Lakers !!! FK Smart !!!!!

          • VillainKing™

            And who the hell are you??greetings for you brother nlruizjr “FUCK YOU YOU NLRUIZJR”..heheheh..

          • VillainKing™

            dude Marcus Smart said that he could play in purple and gold..And I watch the video he didn’t said that he will not play in the Lakers so FUCK YOU!!!

          • borsalino12

            FUCK YOU VK. (That is my greeting for you)
            On May 30-th M.Smart was for workout in Boston, along with Kevin Love. The Celtics are going to draft him, because R.Rondo will leave them next summer as a free agent.Utah also has eyes on your favorite guy (fuck you and him, together), so there is no chance for him to became a Laker. But, Aaron Gordon has stated many times that he would love to play with Kobe, who is his idol. So all of the indications are that he will be our pic. Of course, Mitch can decide to trade him to his hometown Phoenix for 2 first round pics, which I am OK with. Then with the first pic we draft ELFRID PAYTON from Lafayette ( the best PG in this draft) and we are all set for years to come. So, fuck U VK, he,he,hehh !!!

          • VillainKing™

            Hey Fucking borsalino12 we did not know who is the player that the Lakers will pick we cannot predict the draft Lakers decision but for me hope it is Marcus Smart…And then I forgot FUCK YOU BORSALINO12!!!

  • LakerForLifeNJ

    population in LA metro area is about 16million. I’m almost sure that pretty much those 16million said no when Lakers about to sign Artest. heck, even myself and wife was screaming no to each other..only because we hated Artest so bad. But then, on that night of game 7, me and my wife felt sooooo bad..thinking back to the day prior of signing Artest.

  • LA Born

    Lance should have been a All Star,he is a budding star player.Yes Lakers do it.

  • LOTR

    Yes His game and defensive ability speaks for itself. We tolerated Bynum for 7 years, Lance is a model player compared to that 7 foot bust.

  • Luc

    We had Ron Artest and Andrew Bynum also Crack Addict Lamar Odom on our back 2 back championship team.Then we drafted Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter two dudes with checkered pasts and off the court problems.We drafted Javaris Crittenton and he has had tons of issues off the court since joining the Lakers.

    Mitch and the Lakers scouts are all in love with Marcus Smart from things i have heard and seen they have him coming in for a private workout after watching him live at the Wasserman workout.Mitch was also spotted scouting Marcus Smart during the college season at a OSU versus Kansas game.

    The Coach Dave Miller was all raving about Marcus Smart on TWC sportsnet when he did a feature video on the prospect the Lakers are interested in.And Marcus Smart is known for off the court issues like pushing the fan at Texas Tech and his attitude is a bit mean and disrespectful towards people.Seems nuts honestly with his antics.Hell the Lakers drafted the troubled Nick Van Excel in the second round at pick #37.No team wanted to draft the thug Nick Van Excel but the Lakers took a chance on the cocky Nick Van Excel and they got one of the biggest steals ever by taking that big risk.The Lakers drafted Anthony Peeler and he was very troubled and he was facing a gun charge and the Lakers still drafted Anthony Peeler mid first round.Lakers will draft Marcus Smart book it.

    Then we all remember Matt Barnes and his crazy BS on the court and his off the court issues like beating his wife and fighting people on the street.Jordan Hill beat his woman up and he is still a Laker.Kobe had his legal issues and remained a Laker.Dennis Rodman was once a Laker and he has tons more antics than Lance.So yes i fully anticipate Lance Stephenson becoming a Laker and also Marcus Smart will be drafted by the Lakers.It’s the Lakers way.Take a chance on a very talented troubled player.I agree with the Lakers big wigs this is just a example of wanting it bad enough to do anything.Hell Yes signing to
    Lance Stephenson.Get the best players to help us win is the mentality.I love it.

    • nlruizjr

      Yes, I can agree on one hand but the only concern would be his attitude in the locker room, Kobe won’t put up with his BS antics and then we could have a multitude of problems with lance but yes he’s defenitely a talented player but he has to be controlled and the only coach that can do that is BScott, Vogel and Hollins are the same type of coach and you see how Lance runs all over Vogel and also all those you mentioned above did not cause issues on the court or locker room except maybe Matt Barnes but Matt has calmed down quite a bit and Lance is still very young and it could take a while before he matures and I don’t think the lakers will baby sit him until he does.

  • MohamedLakersFan

    ABSOLUTELY YEAH FOR STEPHENSON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We need that bulldog type of player, someone with a bullying mindset, someone who doesn’t fear anyone on the court and doesn’t like to get jumped around like Artest and someone who can defend the 1,2,3 positions so Kobe can preserve himself. Stephenson IS the guy and add to him a strong character coach and draft Marcus Smart and we could have the best defensive guards in the NBA.

  • Forest Ballinger


  • Michael lakers lover!!!

    Yes, but only if we are not going to make a strong effort to resign swaggy p. I can’t see both their games and personalities meshing well, and I can’t see the both of them plus Kobe meshing from a basketball standpoint. As much as I love swaggy p, I think Stephenson would be the better choice. Swaggy is probably a slightly better scorer and more stable (not often you will hear that about swaggy!) but Stephenson has true defensive chops, swaggy p doesn’t. For the right price, yeah I say him.

  • Zimmeredge

    Lance is so versatile. We should give him the opportunity to shine in purple and gold. Mentored by Kobe. He already have a particular feeling for the game. Artest´s mind with a lot of skills.

  • Badazztj12

    I think we have a chance because I heard his on-court problems will hurt his contract, so I hope Lakers offer him the best contract out there.

  • Marty Susman

    YES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Marty Susman

    OK, so how about us getting Lance & Irving, maybe Mitch can work our a deal, where they both get say $10,000,000 in 2015 & 2016 & then the balance of wheat a max contract would have given them for the rest of their contract. (Deferred buckies) Now if they really have some dazzling ways to deal with money, then they do the same thing to monroe & you have 3 great players for a total of $30,000,000 for the next few years….

  • rik

    this would be a great defensive lineup:
    PG: Smart
    SG: Stephenson
    SF: Kobe
    PF: Hill
    C: Gortat
    Bench: Farmar, nick young, bazemore, sacre, kelly, and some fillers
    Coach: Lionel hollins

    • marlou anthony lorica

      PG:(smart if available)Bledsoe SG:Bryant SF;Ariza PF:dario saric if smart is not available C:Gasol REserve are:nash,farmar,meeks,young,bazemore,jermaine oneal,hill ang buy a lottery pick to pick walter Tavares and let him play as rebounder and shot blocker,At midsesson trade sacre to anythings,acqured cris singleton as back up SF,

  • gie

    dont! his a one man team player and still we have kobe. we need a small forward.

  • Angel


  • Alvaro

    Yes of course the Lakers should sign Lance Stephenson.We have the cap space.

  • Mac

    Ya the Lakers need to build a team that can beat the Clippers and win the division.

  • Wyatt


  • SayNoToRacism

    lol i don’t mind having Kobe-Lance-Westbrook?/Lowry?/Irving?/Farmar? – Gasol- Hibbert as our starting 5. Indiana sorely lacked the leadership required to go to the NBA finals, which Kobe and Pau could provide here for Hibbert and Lance.I think Paul George is a borderline all star, he had 1 great game against Miami and that’s it. Lance was their best player in the series. Hibbert, if playing up to his potential, ya’ll see what he is capable of. He had mental issues towards the end of the season.

    • SocialConscious .

      I saw Hibbert lay 2 goose eggs (0 points)in the playoffs this year. First time ever for an all star in the playoffs. He’s decent but damn he can disappear like nobody else.

  • KB24

    TOUGH DECISION HE IS A 2 KOBE IS A 2, if we slide kobe at the 3 that means we are small ball unless kobe,stephenson at the 2 and young and jimmy butler or deng or ariza at the 3 love and diaw at the 4 healthy embiid or asik or dalembert or hill athe 5 …no to stephenson at the 1…but i think he will stay withindy especially they will trade hibbert,copelamd,hill,scolato celtics for rondo,bass,wallace,jeff green or the core of indy will be pg24,stephenson and west …..though i think its better if the lakers will have a core of kobe,love and rondo

    • richard

      LAnce defended Lebron… so we may look small ball, but not at all…Lance can defend SF and SG… he will definitely be defending the SFs of the game while allowing Kobe to be at his natural position.

      If we can get Lowry our of Toronto, that would be much better…

      PG Lowry/Nash/Farmar
      SG Stephenson/Bazemore
      SF Kobe/Young

      PF Hill/Draft pick
      C Pau/Sacre

  • KB24

    If we can draft smart nash can mentor him to be a better passer and scorer while having his own physical lockdown defender that can stop cp3,rondo,drose,dwill,kyrie,wall,curry,lilliard though i have been hearing rumors that smart is slow amd not that athletic but he has the work ethic maybe SMART/rondo,KOBE,lance,j.butler,young,LOVE,diaw,mgasol/brk lopez or asik

  • SocialConscious .

    Larry Bird told him to tone it down, he comes out and tells him F U by caressing Sweet LBJ’s grill. If Bird can’t get him in line nobody will. Young and dumb in a contract year is a bad combo, skilled or not. Not Laker Material. GO LAKESHOW!

  • chrisdagreat1

    lance is a good player, but that’s not what the lakers need. Kobe needs a number two, a robin to his batman, some one that can score 25-30 at will, someone that help with the scoring load, a one two punch, better with Carmelo some one that won a gold metal with Kobe, as long as Carmelo doesn’t have to be the shoulders of the team it will be like playing with your superstar big brother for him, just play bully ball.

  • thizzle

    let him run the point. keep wes johnson. two great wing defenders with offensive upside PLUS kobe? sounds like a good idea.

  • nlruizjr

    Only if they bring back MWP to keep him in check !!!!!

  • Adam404402

    Coach Byron Scott

    PG kyrie irving
    SG kobe bryant
    SF lance Stephenson or loul deng
    PF jordan hill
    C marcin gortat

  • Evan

    Could we sign him to a two or three year deal for about 3-4 million per? He’s making less than 1mil/year in his current contract, and with all of the controversy surrounding his antics, that could drive his price down. With that being said, he could be a good player off the bench behind Bryant for a year or two, if he’s willing to do that. If we bring in a hard nosed coach like Hollins, perhaps Hollins could curb some of the extra stuff (even if it is amusing to watch).

    I throw this out there almost every time I comment on an article, but what about this:

    Coach: Lionel Hollins
    2014-2015 Roster
    PG: Steve Nash, Marcus Smart (Draft)
    SG: Kobe Bryant, Lance Stephenson (UFA),
    SF: Luol Deng (UFA), Nick Young
    PF: Ryan Kelly, Jordan Hill
    C: Emeka Okafor* (UFA), Sacre
    *Any serviceable center would do, as we could sign this guy to a one year deal just as a place holder for the 2015 off season.

    In 2015, we finish off the roster like so:
    PG: Marcus Smart
    SG: Kobe Bryant, Lance Stephenson
    SF: Luol Deng, Nick Young
    PF: Kevin Love (UFA), Ryan Kelly, Jordan Hill
    C: Omer Asik (UFA),

    Obviously, a few things would have to go right for us (Smart at #7, Lance being a good deal, Luol willing to sign for less than 14 million, Kevin Love signing, Omer Asik signing, etc.) but that doesn’t seem unlikely, does it? Our 2014 roster would put us below the luxury threshold, avoiding the repeater tax, and our 2015 cap space would allow us to spend a bit extra to shore up our front court.

    We’d have a scorer to take over the reigns when Kobe retires (Love), and plenty of defense and intensity in Smart, Stephenson, Deng and Asik. Then, assuming we don’t do anything crazy, we’d have our first round in 2016 to bring in another offensive talent.

  • Kracken

    The best place Stephenson can do those types of antics and get all the love is in L.A. You compete, you defend, you produce, you’ll get love. Even Rick Fox loves Stephenson, and after seeing Ron and Matt Barnes be that guy for the Lakers, Kobe will give you love.

  • CloudSean