Lance Stephenson Reportedly Will Play in China or Italy During Lockout


Born Ready was deemed unready to play a ton of minutes with the Pacers as a rookie. This was perhaps in part due to Lance Stephenson’s legal and rumored IOU-related issues. But it was also certainly because he remains raw and needs more experience.

According to one theoretically credible source, his agent Alberto Ebanks says that Lance is about to get just that.

Stephenson is in the midst of finalizing a deal to play overseas during the lockout. (via I Am A GM)

“We’re working on a couple things and we’ve narrowed it down to Italy and China for now,” Alberto Ebanks told SNY.tv by phone. “He’s excited about just getting a run going while the lockout is in place. I think it’s important to stay in basketball shape so he’s about to bust a move.”

One key element of the deal would be a clause allowing Stephenson, the former Lincoln High School star who played sparingly as a rookie with the Pacers, to return to the NBA as soon as the lockout ends.

“It could happen shortly, it could happen in the next month,” Ebanks said.

There have been a lot reasons cited that some players won’t play internationally. Chief among them is the unreliable paycheck delivery that many foreign teams are notorious for. It’s just a lot of hassle to pick up your life and head to another country for an indefinite timeframe, so if your bank account is already straight and your body could use a few months off anyway, why bother?

But for a guy like Lance, a second round pick who is at least another 12 months — and perhaps forever — away from a large NBA contract … thems the breaks. An unreliable paycheck is still better than a guaranteed zero dollars earned by sitting on your couch playing NBA 2K12. He likely can’t just sit back and live off his $750,000 (before taxes) rookie salary.

Thus, it’s time to go make some money and refine his skills across the pond.

Which pond, we’re not sure. But one of the big ones.

Tags: Lance Stephenson