After the Los Angeles Lakers heard they had missed on signing Kawhi Leonard, attention immediately shifted to other free agents. Within less than an hour of Leonard agreeing to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, the Lakers began coming to terms with other players.
Among the names added, it was a list which included multiple players from last season’s roster, such as Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. And after that wave came through, some fans expected to hear Lance Stephenson as the next former Laker added to the roster, but that hasn’t happened to this point.
Fortunately, the return of the air guitar to Los Angeles remains on the table, at least on the surface, as Stephenson remains a free agent. But beyond just that, his latest workout partner is none other than Lakers’ recent free-agent addition and former Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins.
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Thanks to an interesting tweet from Spencer Davies of Basketball Insiders, it appears Stephenson and Cousins worked out together on Monday. While Davies raved about the Impact Basketball facilities, he pointed out that the two NBA players were together on a court opposite of a youth basketball program.
“While DeMarcus Cousins and Lance Stephenson get a workout in on one court, @impactbball’s running youth basketball on the other. Great facility here.” Davies tweeted.
Obviously, the fact Stephenson and Cousins worked out as the Lakers continue to build their roster is interesting, but it doesn’t necessarily mean a reunion is on the horizon. If anything, it may just be a coincidence, but Lance returning for another year with LeBron James and company could make sense.
Lakers Could Land Lance Stephenson on Inexpensive Deal
While there aren’t many remaining free agents who will land lucrative contracts at this point, it appears Stephenson’s market isn’t big. As The Athletic’s Scott Agness reported, “nothing is brewing” for Stephenson and he may wind up having to take a minimum contract.
“As for Lance Stephenson, an unrestricted free agent — nothing is brewing for him. He’s still seeking a new contract and may have to take a minimum-level deal.” Agness reported.
If the Lakers did have the option to sign Stephenson to a one-year deal which would simply bolster their bench depth, it would be tough to argue with. He joined the team last offseason on a one-year, $4.449 million deal (per Spotrac) and posted averages of 7.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 16.5 minutes per game.
Over the span of his nine-year NBA career, Stephenson has played for seven teams while posting marks of 8.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 508 games. His best single season came in 2015-16 when he averaged 14.2 points and 4.4 rebounds while shooting 47.4 percent from the field.
On the opposite side of the argument, the Lakers have rounded out their roster fairly well after failing to land Leonard. Along with the aforementioned players who were brought back along with Cousins, the front office added Danny Green, Quinn Cook, Jared Dudley and two interesting rookies in Talen Horton-Tucker and Zach Norvell. These additions, of course, go along with the team’s move to acquire Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans.