NBA news: Lance Stephenson free agency stock drops, Pistons target GM candidates

Mike Ehrmann

Lance Stephenson could be too much of a risk for some teams in free agency, and Stan Van Gundy continues to search for a general manager.

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Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson hits free agency with a unique aura surrounding him. He's one of the youngest and most talented players that will be on the market, but his intense character that makes him a lighting rod on the court could also be a concern for any team bringing him into a new locker room.

ESPN's Marc Stein reports that while Pacers president Larry Bird remains a supporter of his second-round draft pick of a few years ago, other teams seem less willing to pursue him in free agency because of those concerns over how he would fit.

Lance Stephenson blows on things

Stephenson's antics against the Miami HeatLeBron James in particular, during the Eastern Conference Finals continued to hurt his stock around the league, according to Stein.

How Stephenson's free agency shakes out of course will be dictated by the Pacers and Bird, who took a risk on Stephenson but will have to consider his Indiana teammates' perspectives. Stein said that Stephenson at times "annoyed" his teammates, and Yahoo! Sports reported in April that he and teammate Evan Turner were involved in a fist fight during Pacers practice.

Pistons continue GM search

Stan Van Gundy has taken his time searching for a general manager since joining the Detroit Pistons as the team's coach and president, but it appears he's closing in on making a hire. According to Stein, former New Orleans Pelicans general manager Jeff Bower and current San Antonio Spurs assistant general manager Scott Layden are the rumored favorites to land the job.

Former Magic general manager Otis Smith is also in the conversation after he worked with Van Gundy when the latter was head coach in Orlando. Stu Jackson, a former league executive who worked in the front offices with the Grizzlies and Knicks, is also in the mix, according to Stein.

Jazz like Adrian Griffin, Quin Snyder

The Utah Jazz and general manager Dennis Lindsey reportedly considered Quin Snyder a top candidate to replace Ty Corbin as head coach, according to the Deseret News, but there's a new name that could challenge him. That would be Bulls assistant Adrian Griffin, who will interview with the Jazz for the second time, according to sources of the Deseret News.

Picks for the Knicks?

Having traded away a number of their draft picks to acquire players such as Carmelo Anthony and Andrea Bargnani, the New York Knicks' options to acquire young talent are limited. President Phil Jackson has made it known that he will be hoping to buy his way into the draft, and that's likely to happen in the second round of the 2014 draft, according to's Keith Pompey.

New York especially could target deals with the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers, who own multiple picks in the second round.

Morrow to opt out

New Orleans Pelicans guard Anthony Morrow will opt out of his contract this summer, according to a HoopsHype source. Morrow averaged 8.4 points in 76 games this past season while playing in a busy backcourt that included Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon.


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