The Los Angeles Lakers have gone silent during the trade week frenzy leading to the deadline last Thursday. This despite the surrounding noise that attempted to dictate the team’s front office move, which obviously went for naught as the Lakers stood firm on keeping the same line-up for the rest of the year.
Or maybe not. Though there was no swapping of places that went to completion, it does not mean the Lakers are done with surveying possibilities to bolster their troops. There is still a strong assumption that Rob Pelinka stays on a hunt for a solid pick-up in the free-agent market, and one name that stands out is former Laker Lance Stephenson.
Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report sees Stephenson re-joining the Purple and Gold as a rational option for the team executives to explore.
“I’m not going to endorse this but if there’s no better choice off buyout, is there a better free-agent fit than Lance Stephenson for the Lakers? Played with Vogel before, played with LeBron before – not a point but has played point. Not a shooter but can shoot,” Pincus wrote.
The 29-year-old small forward played under Vogel for four years in Indiana where he carved his name with his infamous antics and mind games. After bouncing around several teams starting 2014, he found himself donning the Lakers uniform last year to play alongside LeBron James. In his lone season for the team, averaged 7.2 points, 3.2 boards, and 2.1 assists on 16.5 minutes of action in each of his 68 total games. He then took his talents to China this season to play for the Liaoning Flying Leopards where he currently averages 26.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 3.8 dimes.
The current Lakers line-up has established a solid ground in the franchise’s campaign to compete for a championship. They are the best team in the West, and perhaps their record has influenced the management not to fix something that is not broke.
That may be the case for now, but certainly not for long. And as they failed in convincing Darren Collison to come out of retirement, the possibility of bringing back Stephenson could now be a pending file waiting to be sealed.