Lance Stephenson is signing a 10-day contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves, league sources tell The Vertical.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 7, 2017
It’s not a surprise that the Wolves moved to add a wing player to the roster in the wake of Zach LaVine’s ACL tear, but I can’t say I expected it to be Lance Stephenson.
Stephenson was last seen on an NBA roster in early November, when he was waived by the New Orleans Pelicans after appearing in six games. He gets another shot with the Wolves, who can sign him for two 10-Day contracts before making a decision about whether to sign him for the rest of the season.
Stephenson was drafted in the second round in 2010 by the Indiana Pacers and spent four relatively successful seasons there. He didn’t play much during his first two years, but emerged as a key cog on a couple of strong playoff teams under Frank Vogel during his final two seasons as a Pacer. He developed as a physical wing who defended hard and made contributions in several areas.
The Pacers chose to let him go in free agency in the summer of 2014, however, and things have not gone well in his career since. He signed with Charlotte, but has bounced around the league since, unable to reach the level he got to next to Paul George on a defensive-minded Pacers squad, and unable to find a comfortable fit.
Still, he was reasonably effective as recently as a 26 game stint at the end of last season with the Memphis Grizzlies, and is younger than Gorgui Dieng.
Chances are probably not very good that this works out, but certainly the Wolves are in need of bodies, but also in need of an edge, something that an engaged Stephenson can provide.
What say you?