It was a down year across the board for most of the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron James missed out on a first-team All-NBA selection while promising young players like Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart struggled to take the next step in their sophomore campaign. However, none other than Lance Stephenson brought home some hardware this season – just maybe not the exact kind the team was hoping for.
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Lakers’ Lance Stephenson Brings Home the 2018-19 Shaqtin’ A Fool MVP
The Shaqtin A Fool MVP is a prestigious award that Stephenson’s Laker teammate, JaVale McGee, reigns supreme in. A two time MVP, the award goes out to players who have consistently displayed the most unusual and hilarious play over the course of the season.
Coming off the bench for the Lakers, Stephenson played in just over 16 minutes per game for the Lakers. However, Stephenson was an electric factory off the bench who had an equal chance of catching fire and carrying the second unit as he did imploding and making a string of boneheaded plays. For his efforts keeping Laker fans entertained through some ugly months, he beat out a fairly loaded crop of competition.
Coincidentally, fellow Laker LeBron James found himself as a finalist for the Shaqtin A Fool MVP. James had an interesting year in Los Angeles where he battled through injury before being shut down after the Lakers were all but eliminated from the playoffs. LeBron had a number of interesting moments on the year, however, none as notable as the time where he simply stopped playing defense and Kyle Kuzma had to literally push him into the proper spot to rotate to.
Lance Stephenson’s Free Agency Outlook
The way things are currently playing out, it doesn’t look like Lance is going to be back in the purple and gold next season. Especially if the Lakers go out and sign a max-contract free agent, they will likely want to spend whatever cap exception they have at their disposal to try and bolster their big men.
Heading into his age-29 season, Stephenson will most likely look to take a one year deal on a team where he can find some more minutes in the rotation. Stephenson likely only has one big payday left in his career and this season is probably his last shot to secure the bag. Otherwise, Stephenson will likely be a player who spends the better part of his 30s playing on minimum deals chasing a ring – not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Cleveland might be a solid fit for Stephenson as they are in the middle of a rebuild, don’t have much help on the wing, and could use another playmaker to help lighten the load of yougnin’ Colin Sexton. While Laker fans will surely be sad to see Lance go, we’ll always have that one time he absolutely dropped Jeff Green.
In the words of the great Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, “The flame that burns Twice as bright burns half as long.”