The Indiana Pacers blew Lance Stephenson a kiss goodbye and jumped on Rodney Stuckey to fill the void.
The Pacers agreed to terms with Stuckey on a one-year deal Wednesday, a person with knowledge of the agreement told The Associated Press. The deal comes one day after the Charlotte Hornets swooped in to land Stephenson, the wild-card guard who dazzled with his versatility and infuriated with his after-the-whistle antics.
Terms of the deal, which was first reported by USA Today, were not immediately available. The person requested anonymity because an official announcement has not been made.
Stephenson was one of the Pacers’ best offensive players on a team that often struggled to put the ball in the basket. He gained All-Star consideration while averaging 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists in a breakout year. But he also showed flashes of erratic behavior, most notably when he blew into LeBron James’ ear during the Eastern Conference finals.
Charlotte landed him with a three-year, $27 million contract after the Pacers couldn’t close the deal with him, so Indiana moved quickly to address the loss.
Stuckey averaged 13.9 points last season, his seventh season with the Detroit Pistons. He was once viewed as a promising building block for the Pistons, and he averaged 16.6 points and 4.8 assists in 2009-10.
Stuckey only shot 27 percent from 3-point range and just over 43 percent from the field overall, so he won’t bring a lot of perimeter shooting help. But he is at his best attacking the basket and the Pacers also addressed some shooting needs earlier in the summer when they added C.J. Miles.
The Pistons had little use for Stuckey after they brought in D.J. Augustin and Jodie Meeks to add to their backcourt. They also added forward Caron Butler, who can bring some 3-point shooting to the team.