NBA free agency is still a few weeks away but Grantland's Zach Lowe takes an early look at Lance Stephenson and what teams could target him when July rolls around. The entire article is an excellent breakdown of Stephenson who on one hand is a phenomenal player but also one that has plenty of red flags.
Lowe on the Hawks as potential suitors for Stephenson:
I love DeMarre Carroll, but any team starting him has a need on the wing. Look at this starting lineup: Jeff Teague, Stephenson, Kyle Korver, Horford, Paul Millsap. Hell, you can start Pero Antic at center and bring Millsap off the bench. Anyone in the East dying to face that team in the playoffs?
And of course the reasons that they may pass:
But Ferry comes from the Spurs tree, which means he prizes coachability and quiet workers. Mike Budenholzer is a shooting zealot, and Stephenson might not be a good enough marksman yet to pique his interest.
Lowe lists three teams as the best possibilities for Stephenson. Michael Jordan is promising to make a splash this summer and Stephenson would be an interesting addition to that club. Lowe also lists the Detroit Pistons and Stephenson clearly help them on the wing but wow at the thought of dropping him in a locker room that already features Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith.
Far and away the Pacers still seem like the best possibility. Even though it appears there was a sizable rift in the locker room when the season ended the fact remains that their cap situation essentially prevents them from replacing Stephenson if he bolts.
Despite the warning signs, Stephenson will be a hot target this summer although his antics in the Eastern Conference Finals may have proven to cost him some money long term.