The Boston Celtics are still looking to create some fireworks this offseason. Danny Ainge and company have not been able to pull off a big trade for All-Star forward Kevin Love, so the team has turned its attention to free agency. After reports that the team made calls to free agents such as Gordon Hayward and Chandler Parsons, ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported Monday that the Celtics are among the teams interested in free agent Lance Stephenson.
The Celtics may merely be kicking the tires for Stephenson, as the Indian Pacers have offered the talented shooting guard/small forward a five-year deal with $44 million. Both sides have not been able to come to an agreement yet, but the Pacers are interested in re-signing Stephenson, a player who added offense to a team that, at times, struggled with scoring.
Stephenson’s name has been rumored in a possible deal involving Rajon Rondo. Rumors of three-team deal with the Phoenix Suns included a sign and trade deal involving Stephenson and the Celtics also acquiring center Roy Hibbert. Both would address the Celtics need of a scoring perimeter player and a rebounding, shot-blocking presence.
Although the Celtics have re-signed Avery Bradley, Stephenson would provide more scoring. He’s able to stretch the floor and has an ability to get to the basket with ease. He also provides a young team with some playoff experience and a bit of attitude. Stephenson was involved in some trash-talking antics with LeBron James during the Eastern Conference finals this past season.
Stephenson averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists last season with the Pacers. He became the team’s third option on offense behind Paul George and David West. As a member of the Celtics, he could easily become the team’s second option. The Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers are two other teams reportedly interested in the services of Lance Stephenson.