Chicago, IL - According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Bulls are very interested in signing Indiana Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson this coming offseason. Stephenson will be a free agent following this season, but he has made it clear that he would like to return to Indiana if possible. The Bulls are hoping to sign either Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James this offseason, but if they can’t get either one they will turn to Stephenson as their secondary plan.
Stephenson has played in 36 games this season with the Indiana Pacers, averaging 13.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game. Obviously by those numbers he is a very skilled player in every aspect of the game, and would be a welcome addition to any team in the league. Not only is he a good offensive player, he has also stepped up in a big way defensively.
The Bulls would be very smart in trying to lure Stephenson away from the Indiana Pacers this offseason. Indiana has made Stephenson their top priority already, and the expectation around the league is that the two sides will agree to a deal that will keep him with the Pacers long-term. All that being said, if the Bulls decide to swoop in and offer a more lucrative deal than the Pacers can afford, the money very well could make the difference.
Chicago would like to sign a superstar this offseason, and their top two targets are LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. Both of those players will likely listen to what the Bulls have to offer, but Anthony is the more likely of the two to actually sign a deal with the Bulls. That being said, if neither player chooses to sign with the Bulls, the reports and rumors swirling are that Stephenson is their third target.
Don’t expect Stephenson to head anywhere other than back to Indiana this offseason, but we also can’t ignore the Bulls as an option. It will be a very interesting situation to watch if the Pacers and Bulls do end up fighting over the signing of Lance Stephenson.
Evan Massey is the Lead Editor for Hoops-Nation. Follow Evan on Twitter at @Massey_Evan.