NY Knicks: Should they give Lance Stephenson a call?

Lance Stephenson, NY Knicks. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Lance Stephenson, NY Knicks. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
2 of 4
NY Knicks
Lance Stephenson, NY Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports /

NY Knicks: Now is a good time to pick up Lance Stephenson

The last time Lance Stephenson played in the NBA was in the 2018-19 season for The Los Angeles Lakers. Stephenson put up 7.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists while shooting 42.6% percent from the floor and 37.1% from deep in 16.5 minutes per game for The Lakers – Including some impressive single-game performances like his 28-8-8 game against the Suns. Stephenson suffered an ankle injury and was later released.

The next season, Stephenson found himself playing in China where he led The Liaoning Flying Leopards to a championship and won MVP as well. Stephen has been out of organized basketball this year, but he’s been working out in New York in hopes of signing with an NBA team.

As you can see, Lance Stephenson has been working out with legendary basketball trainer Chris Brickley at his Sky Gym, one of the hottest gyms in the country where you’ll see the league’s best players getting in some runs in the offseason.

It might be a knee-jerk reaction to roll your eyes when you hear about someone like Stephenson, who’s been out of the league, returning and making an impact – but it’s not so far-fetched.

The other week, The Ringer’s Logan Murdock and Raja Bell dropped an episode of their podcast “Real Ones” where they interviewed former NBA player Greg Monroe. Monroe, like Stephenson, is trying to get back into the league, and he discussed the circuit of guys like him trying to get signed by a team – Players who are not far removed from the NBA and are currently training as opposed to playing overseas. It was an outstanding in-depth look at the behind-the-scenes of trying to get back into the league. I highly recommend giving it a listen.

In the episode, they mention how Trevor Ariza, who was controlled by The Oklahoma City Thunder (Although he never reported to the team after deciding to opt-out of the Orlando restart) was getting in some runs with Monroe and working out in Miami. The 35-year-old Ariza hadn’t played a game in over a year and was thrown in a trade to the Miami Heat on March 17th.

Heat coach Eric Spoelstra was reportedly blown away by how good of shape Ariza was in – Ariza immediately joined the team, and after 3 games off of the bench has been starting and playing over 25 minutes per game. The Knicks won’t require Stephenson to play that many minutes, but if he can prove he’s in NBA shape, I don’t see a reason why the team shouldn’t give him a call. So what would Stephenson’s game bring to the table?