Milwaukee Bucks: Pros and cons of signing free agent Lance Stephenson

MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 02 (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 02 (Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Tony Snell, Indiana Pacers: Domantas Sabonis, Lance Stephenson
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – JANUARY 08 (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

As the Milwaukee Bucks continue polishing off the edges of their retooled roster, they are reportedly taking a look at a long-time NBA journeyman.

First reported by Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes, the Bucks were expected to be in attendance for a private workout hosted by Lance Stephenson yesterday morning in Las Vegas. Haynes noted that they were expected to be joined by representatives from Denver, Philadelphia, and Brooklyn, who all wanted a closer look at the 30-year-old.

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Stephenson, a nine-year NBA veteran, has indeed been expressing interest in a return to the league after last appearing during the 2018-19 season.

He most recently played overseas in the Chinese Basketball Association with the Liaoning Flying Leopards during 2019-20 and was seemingly working his way back into the league before the pandemic hit. With another comeback attempt in full swing, the Bucks are reportedly among the teams interested in getting a look.

With that being said, let us take a closer look at the pros, cons, and overall final verdict on whether the Bucks should take a flyer on Stephenson ahead of next season.

The pros of the Milwaukee Bucks signing free agent Lance Stephenson

First and foremost, Stephenson would have to impress in his workout for the Bucks to consider picking him up for next season. If he proves that he is back up to basketball speed and can jump right into this swing of things, then this would make much more sense.

Throughout his career, the most prominent thing Stephenson has been known for is his vibrant presence, often being known as an agitator. He is a well-known trash talker and someone that always tried — sometimes successfully — to get under the skin of his opponents to try and throw them off their game. The Bucks recently acquired a player in Grayson Allen that fits a similar mold as an agitating presence for opponents, and adding Stephenson would help them double up. His vibrant presence would help bring some energy to the floor as well.

Although he would likely not play a pivotal role for them, Stephenson would also give the team yet another battle-tested veteran. While Stephenson is long removed from his best days in the NBA on those top-heavy Indiana Pacers back in the early 2010s, the guard has been a solid contributor in a playoff atmosphere. For his playoff career — 57 games, 38 being starts — Stephenson has averaged 11.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game. Although his last postseason outing came before Giannis Antetokounmpo hoisted his first MVP trophy several years ago, knowing that he has proven to be a reliable postseason contributor could make this a more compelling thought.

On top of everything, he would be an affordable target for the cash-strapped Bucks. The team is already working through financial hurdles with their roster as is, and if they are looking to put the final pieces together, adding a veteran like Stephenson for cheap might be something that is worth considering for the reigning champs.