Ex-Lakers Guard Holding Private Workout for Teams

Lance Stephenson

Getty Lance Stephenson

Former Los Angeles Lakers guard Lance Stephenson held a private workout for teams in hopes of getting back into the NBA.

Stephenson held the workout on Friday in Las Vegas, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. The Lakers are not expecting to attend, although the Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets are all expected to have representatives on hand for the workout.

Stephenson last played in the NBA with the Lakers during the 2018-19 season. He also suited up for the Liaoning Flying Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association in 2020.

He averaged 7.2 points in 16.5 minutes off the bench. It was a disappointing year for the Lakers as a team, going 37-45 and missing the playoffs. It was LeBron James’ first year in Los Angeles and he ended up missing a good chunk of time with a groin injury. He was a key piece of the Pacers in 2013 and 2014 when they made it to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Stephenson averaged 26.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game in the CBA.

Stephenson could be a veteran bench piece for a contending squad, providing defense and some shooting. Stephenson is a career 44.4% shooter from the floor and 31.5 percent from beyond the arc. He also attempted a comeback in 2020 but did not get any bites for a contract.

Michael Beasley Suiting Up in Summer League

Stephenson is not the only former Lakers veteran looking to make a comeback to the NBA. Michael Beasley is also attempting to make a roster and is currently playing Summer League ball for the Portland Trail Blazers — an interesting move for the 32-year-old former the No. 2 overall pick.

The Blazers are 2-1 in Summer League play. He’s averaged 9 points and 3 rebounds in just over just over 20 minutes per game.

Like Stephenson, Beasley last played for the Lakers during the 2018-19 season. He played 10.7 minutes and averaging 7.0 points. Beasley put his name in for the G League draft last season but was not selected.

Beasley played for the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association after leaving the Lakers in 2019, winning a CBA title. He averaged 22.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game, adding 2.2 blocks and 1.2 steals. He shot 50% from the field and 33% from beyond the arc.

It was Beasley’s second stint in China. He previously played with the Shanghai Sharks, averaging 28.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.9 steals in 37 games. He was named the CBA Foreign MVP.

Beasley was signed by the Nets during the bubble season but his contract was voided after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Lakers Have Brough Back Slew of Former Players

Beasley and Stephenson were not in on the large reunion the Lakers went through this offseason, bringing back multiple players who had previously suited up in purple and gold.

Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington and Kent Bazemore were all players with previous time served with the Lakers who signed free agent deals this offseason. They all signed one-year minimum contracts.

It’ll be an interesting mix for the Lakers, who are trying to work around the superstar trio of James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.

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