Lance Stephenson joining LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

By Alex Butler  |  July 2, 2018 at 8:45 AM
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July 2 (UPI) -- LeBron James wasn't the only free agent to join the Los Angeles Lakers this weekend. Lance Stephenson is also headed to Staples Center.

The former Indiana Pacers guard announced his decision to sign with the team on Sunday. He agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million contract with the Lakers, according to ESPN and The Athletic.

League sources told ESPN that the Lakers also added free agents Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and JaVale McGee.

Stephenson, 27, played the first four seasons of his career with the Pacers before joining the Charlotte Hornets in 2014.

He rejoined the Pacers in 2016. He has also played for the Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans and Minnesota Timberwolves.

"While I couldn't be more excited to join the Los Angeles Lakers, I first need to thank Pacer Nation for all of the love and support over the years," Stephenson wrote on social media.

The eight-year veteran went on to thank Pacers owner Herb Simon, Larry Bird, coach Nate McMillan, Kevin Pritchard and his teammates.

"The entire organization stood by me through all of the ups and downs of my career and have played a crucial role in molding me into the man and player that I am today," Stephenson wrote. "I will forever be indebted for that unwavering belief in me."

Stephenson averaged 9.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists lin 82 games last season. He made seven starts. His best full season with one team came during the 2013-2014 campaign, when he posted 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 78 starts for the Pacers.

The move came hours after Klutch Sports Group announced that James was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers in order to join the Lakers on a four-year, $154 million pact.

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