But Stephenson is a nutcase that is about to become an unrestricted free agent. Despite his antics, he is a tough player with an edge, plays solid defense and stuffs the stat sheet. So the question is: should the Dallas Mavericks pursue Stephenson this offseason?
The answer should be a resounding NO.
I think having a guy that might be a little crazy and has no fear is actually important to a good team. It gives them an edge. DeShawn Stevenson provided that when he was a Maverick during the 2011 championship season. Delonte West provided that the year after when Stevenson left.
But Lance isn’t just a little crazy. Lance seems straight up insane and bringing Stephenson into Dallas just seems like an accident waiting to happen. If the Mavs really wanted Stephenson, they would have to overpay like crazy for him because we all know that there is some team out there that will throw him a boat load of money that he probably isn’t worth. Dallas may have a lot cap space to play with, but there are other holes on this team that need addressing that may end up being pushed to the side with signing Stephenson.
And let’s say the Mavs were to sign Stephenson. Let’s not forget that they just signed a guard before last season who had a very nice first season with the team. His name is Monta Ellis. By signing Lance, the Mavs would have to convince Ellis to move to the bench and take over the sixth man role while Stephenson moves into the starting shooting guard spot. While this isn’t impossible to accomplish, it would be extremely difficult especially considering the kind of season Ellis is coming off of. I’m not sure how Monta would take to moving to the bench, and there is no way Stephenson would come off the bench with his ego.
But putting all that aside, the Mavs shouldn’t even think about signing Stephenson simply because he’s a foolish, immature player. Maybe being coached by Rick Carlisle and playing along side players like Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Carter could be what finally forces Lance to grow up. But what if it doesn’t? Stephenson blowing in LeBron’s ear and also trying to get in on a Miami Heat huddle Wednesday night should tell anyone all they need to know about the 23-year old. As talented as he is, he’s a selfish guy with antics that show that he seems to forget that he’s playing on a TEAM.
Although Delonte West gave the Mavs a hint of crazy during the 2011-2012 season, it turned out his antics proved to be too much for the Mavs. We all remember West sticking his finger in the ear of Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward, which is just as stupid as blowing in LeBron’s ear. West was suspended twice by the Mavs during the following offseason for conduct detrimental to the team and was waived before the 2012-2013 campaign started. The Mavs clearly don’t have the tolerance for things like that, and with Stephenson you never know what you’re going to get as far as his mindset.
As good as he might be, the Mavs shouldn’t even be thinking about Lance Stephenson.