• Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson (Photo : NBAE via Getty Images)

The LA Lakers still has available cap space and they could make one auspicious, if not risky addition.

Lance Stephenson is still a free agent which is a surprise to many, even ESPN's Zach Lowe and Marc Stein as they discussed him on their podcast. (h/t Clipperholics)

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"Lowe: Anyone want Lance Stephenson?

Stein: ... It's July 28th. If I've heard his name three times this month, that's a lot. I would think someone will eventually take him for the minimum. But, man, what was that offer he turned down? $45 million?

Lowe: Five years, $44 million."

Both of them expressed regret with how that deal could have kept him in Indiana, where he experienced the best points of his career (and brought him on the radar). Now, he is projected as a minimum pick up, if he ever remains in the league at all.

"He might have to be one of those vets who waits till the season starts, a need arises, and then someone decides to go after him. I have scarcely heard him [Stephenson] mentioned since free agency began," Stein said.

One team that still has cap space and a roster spot is the LA Lakers. They have been linked to various trade targets because of the strategy they employed (they have not yet signed the no.2 overall pick Brandon Ingram to see what they can get from the market). Rumors linked them to Kevin Love, DeMarcus Cousins, Blake Griffin and Russell Westbrook (simply because they're the Lakers) flew about, but it was all unlikely.

A more realistic scenario is trading for cap space, but that could only happen when a team wants to sign an expensive player (as in the Bulls signing Dwyane Wade). There are no more top dollar players to be signed aside from LeBron James and JR Smith, and it's likely they're not going anywhere.

Which means the team could just stay put or use the cap space on a one-year deal. Lance Stephenson could be worth a look.

While he may be a ball-heavy guard, (Doc Rivers called him a point guard), he could bring in toughness and experience to the young core. Keep in mind that the Pacers used Lance to square up and psych out LeBron James (ear-blowing incident). While he may have taken the role too far, he may have learned his limits and he could also sharpen the "edge" of D'Angelo Russell or rookie Brandon Ingram-something they need to have if they are to lead the team.

If the experiment doesn't work, the Lakers let him go and head back to the lottery (hopefully, they can retain their top three pick again) where they were projected to end up anyway.