May 15, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson (1) dunks the ball as Washington Wizards forward Nene (42) looks on in the second quarter in game six of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Pacers In Clash With Hornets For Lance Stephenson

The Charlotte Hornets offered a max contract to restricted free agent Gordon Hayward but the Jazz quickly matched. It was a long-shot to get Hayward but no harm in attempting. After a somewhat successful season, the Hornets are searching for talent to build around All-NBA center Al Jefferson. With $20 million to shell out, Lance Stephenson is now in their plans.

(Sporting News)

That leaves the Hornets with about $20 million in cap space, and a roster it’s seeking to upgrade aggressively, which a league source said will lead to the next big front in free agency — Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson.

According to the source, the remaining serious suitors for Stephenson are expected to be Charlotte, Dallas — if and when the Rockets match the Mavs’ offer sheet for Chandler Parsons — and Indiana. Several teams mentioned in connection with Stephenson, including Boston, Chicago and the Lakers, have not been serious in their pursuit, the source said, while others could register late interest.

No formal deal has been reported.

It’s not a surprise the Mavericks are also interested in the 23-year old Brooklyn native. Vince Carter recently signing a three-year deal with Memphis. Shawn Marion is still productive at the age of 36 but has too many miles on his body. Stephenson would undoubtedly be an upgrade at the wing.

The Pacers have offered Stephenson a contract worth $44 million over five years but the general feeling is that it won’t be enough to entice him stay.

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