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Free agent guard Lance Stephenson has signed a three-year, $27-million contract with the Charlotte Hornets, ESPN's Chris Broussard reports.
It looks like Stephenson misread his market.
At the beginning of free agency, the Indiana Pacers offered to re-sign him on a five-year, $44-million deal. It would have kept the core of the team that had gone to two-straight Eastern Conference Finals intact, and Stephenson would have gotten an average of $8.8 million per year until 2018-19.
Stephenson rejected the deal. According to Broussard, he felt it was a "low-ball offer."
The Charlotte contract pays him $200,000 more per year, but the overall value is much lower than what Indiana offered him. At the end of the day, he left $17 million in guaranteed money on the table.
There's actually a chance this could end up being a smart move for Stephenson. He's going to be just 26 years old when his contract with the Hornets is up in the summer of 2017. With the salary cap set to skyrocket in the wake of the league's new TV rights deals, Stephenson could be well positioned to cash in if he continues to grow as a player.
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