The Los Angeles Lakers could use some veteran presence on the bench though like most teams, it may only happen if the price is right. Players willing to sign up for a minimum deal are likely on the radar, which brings up once again Lance Stephenson.
To date, no one has taken a chance on the swingman who remains unsigned. After hitting it big with the Indiana Pacers, he continues to spiral in recent years. After stops with the Charlotte Hornets and the Los Angeles Clippers, he did show some signs of life with the Memphis Grizzlies before being booted.
Hence, Stephenson is one of many free agents looking for a team and the Lakers could consider taking in the high-risk player if they wanted too.
However, there is the issue of consistency and how he can get along to mold the young core of the Los Angeles Lakers. He is unlikely to get heavy minutes unless he breaks out the same performance he had with the Pacers. With a team filled with guards, Stephenson could end up begging for minutes.
Following Metta World Peace Scenario
His role may not be that different from what Metta World Peace had last season, spending more time on the bench with minutes dependent on who is healthy or not. But for that to happen, Stephenson will need to lower his expectations not only in playing time but also in pay.
One thing going for Stephenson is that the only pressure for the Lakers this coming season is to improve on their performance the last two years. Reaching the playoffs will already be an achievement though Mitch Kupchak wouldn’t mind going beyond that.
Realistically, toughness is lacking from the retooled Lakers quintet. Stephenson can bring that though turning out consistent performances is still a must. Stephenson could turn out to be a cheap but worthy gamble. But will Luke Walton have a place for him on the roster? If not, Stephenson may need to pack his bags and play overseas instead.