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Stephenson explores free agency options

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jul 07 2014 11:42:43 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 07 2014 02:19:49 PM CDT
LeBron James, Lance Stephenson, 2014 NBA Eastern Conference Finals

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Indiana Pacers and guard Lance Stephenson remain far apart on a deal after he rejected a five-year, $44 million contract last week, ESPN.com reported Monday.

Stephenson's desire is to remain with the Pacers, but he began exploring the free agent market after receiving what he felt was a low-ball offer last Tuesday, according to ESPN sources.

Stephenson has drawn interest from the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers, although both teams have other free agents prioritized above Stephenson.

Stephenson has recently emerged as a target of the Mavericks. Stephenson led the NBA in triple-doubles with five last season and his 7.2 rebounds per game, highest among the league's guards, could help a Mavericks team that was among the league's worst in rebounding.

According to ESPN.com, the Pacers have been unwilling to increase their offer to Stephenson, and some league sources say they will not move from that stance. Stephenson believes he is worth well above the $7.6 million the Pacers' offer would pay him.

Last season, Stephenson averaged 13.8 points and 4.6 assists along with his 7.2 rebounds -- all career highs for the four-year player.

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