All the talk in NBA free agency right now surrounds the immediate future of Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James. Once LeBron and Carmelo make their decisions, the rest of the top tier free agents will start to receive considerable interest from teams around the league. One of those players will be Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers. According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks have shown interest in signing Stephenson as of July 7:
Stephenson has drawn interest from the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers, although both teams have other free agents prioritized above Stephenson, according to sources.
At this point in time, the Lakers are putting all their efforts into luring superstar free agent Carmelo Anthony away from the New York Knicks. Although Carmelo appears to be the team’s top priority in free agency, the team needs a backup plan in the event that Anthony signs elsewhere and Stephenson seems to be part of that plan.
Broussard confirmed reported via Twitter that the Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics are all expressing interest in the free agent guard:
In addition to Dallas & Lakers, Boston also showing interest in Lance Stephenson, source said
As of right now, there’s no telling where Stephenson will land in free agency. The fiery guard is an intriguing option for a team like the Lakers, but he’ll come at a premium after refusing a five-year deal worth $44 million from the Pacers.
With Stephenson wanting a deal that surpassing Indiana’s offer, the Lakers might not be in contention for the 23-year-old if Carmelo signs a max deal with Los Angeles.
According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, the Lakers are prepared to offer Carmelo a four-year deal for the maximum amount:
Lakers made it clear to Melo today they'd offer the maximum, 4-yr, $97mil contract they can, if he chose them.
Although all indications have pointed to Carmelo either returning to New York or landing in either Chicago or Houston, Los Angeles has emerged as a legitimate threat after an impressive pitch to the superstar last week. The Lakers were able to propose an offer that Carmelo might find tough to refuse, but the superstar has yet to make his decision after taking the weekend to consider offers from all the interested teams.