Lance Stephenson is reportedly closing in on his return to the NBA following a season with the Chinese Basketball Association's Liaoning Flying Leopards. According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, Stephenson is "in strong talks" to return to the Indiana Pacers, so long as he is granted permission to get out of his contract with the Flying Leopards.

The Pacers (39-25) currently hold the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference but they are in need of a veteran wing as they gear up for the post-season following injuries to Malcolm Brogdon, T.J. Warren and Doug McDermott.

Stephenson, 29, broke into the NBA in 2010 following one season with the Cincinnati Bearcats. The Indiana Pacers selected the Brooklyn-native with the 40th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, and he spent his first four seasons with the club.

Since then, he has bounced around the league including stints with the Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, the Pacers again, and the Lakers. Stephenson signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Liaoning Flying Leopards during the summer of 2019, but it certainly looks like he'll soon be rejoining the Pacers for the third time.

For his NBA career, Stephenson boasts averages of 8.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists. His best statistical season came as a member of the Pacers in the 2013-14 season, where he posted 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 78 games. 

Lance Stephenson, Indiana Pacers

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