Lance Stephenson has agreed to a one-year deal with the Pelicans, according to a report from ESPN’s Marc Stein. Stephenson was one of the bigger names left on the free agent market, even after showing signs of a resurgence during 26 appearances with the Grizzlies at the end of last season.
New Orleans needs help at the guard position, now that Jrue Holiday will be out indefinitely as he cares for his wife, former U.S. women’s national soccer team star Lauren Holiday, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The Pelicans also lost Eric Gordon to the Rockets in free agency.
Stephenson has bounced around since leaving the Pacers after playing in Indiana for his first four NBA seasons. He signed a free agent deal with the Hornets in 2014, but was traded to the Clippers after falling out of the rotation during his first season in Charlotte. L.A. gave up on the experiment midway through the season and ended up shipping him to the Grizzlies.
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You may remember Stephenson for his antics against LeBron James in the 2014 Eastern Conference playoffs, but he was also a productive two-way player who is still just 25 years old. He averaged a career-best 14.2 points per game during his brief time in Memphis to end the 2016 season.