LeBron James has been outspoken about the Cavaliers’ need to add another playmaker to the roster, and the franchise has responded by inviting four free agents to workout for the team this week.
Mario Chalmers, Kirk Hinrich and Jordan Farmar will all be in Cleveland on Wednesday — and so will Lance Stephenson.
You may recall that LeBron and Lance shared some moments in the Eastern Conference Finals in both 2013 and 2014, the most memorable of which involved Stephenson blowing in James’ ear during a stoppage in play.
But despite the history between the two players, LeBron said he’d have no problem with Stephenson joining the roster.
“I got a history with all those guys except Jordan,” James said after shootaround Wednesday, via ESPN. “I got a history with Lance too, obviously. I got a history versus Kirk. I played him in a lot of playoff series. And I got a history with Rio [Chalmers]. … At the end of the day, Rio is recovering from his Achilles tear. I hope he’s been doing everything he needs to do just to get back on the floor. He loves to play the game.
“I’m a supporter of what this franchise wants to do, no matter what it’s doing. … I just want to win, man. That’s all that matters to me. I got no personal problems with nobody.”
Stephenson has bounced around the league after signing a free agent deal with the Hornets in 2014. He had a bit of a resurgence in 26 games with the Grizzlies last season, but appeared in just six games for the Pelicans this year before being waived due to injury.
“Lance did everything that we could possibly ask him to do,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said at the time. “He was great on and off the court. It was just a situation where we had to have a roster spot to add an addition to our team. If Lance was not hurt, he would still be here and he would still be playing minutes.”
Stephenson may be the best option for Cleveland out of everyone in the group, assuming, of course, that LeBron and the rest of the vets can keep him focused. Chalmers is another interesting option based on his time with James in Miami, but he’s recovering from an Achilles injury, and those can be extremely difficult to overcome.