Stephenson explores free agency options
The Indiana Pacers and guard Lance Stephenson remain far apart on a deal after he rejected a five-year, $44 million contract last week, ESPN.com reported Monday.
Stephenson's desire is to remain with the Pacers, but he began exploring the free agent market after receiving what he felt was a low-ball offer last Tuesday, according to ESPN sources.
Stephenson has drawn interest from the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers, although both teams have other free agents prioritized above Stephenson.
Stephenson has recently emerged as a target of the Mavericks. Stephenson led the NBA in triple-doubles with five last season and his 7.2 rebounds per game, highest among the league's guards, could help a Mavericks team that was among the league's worst in rebounding.
According to ESPN.com, the Pacers have been unwilling to increase their offer to Stephenson, and some league sources say they will not move from that stance. Stephenson believes he is worth well above the $7.6 million the Pacers' offer would pay him.
Last season, Stephenson averaged 13.8 points and 4.6 assists along with his 7.2 rebounds -- all career highs for the four-year player.