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Lance Stephenson returns to Pacers on 10-day hardship contract

Atlanta Hawks v Philadelphia 76ers

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 23: Lance Stephenson #33 of the Atlanta Hawks looks on against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on December 23, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Hawks defeated the 76ers 98-96. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

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Lance Stephenson and the Indiana Pacers are together. Again.

For the third time in his career, Stephenson is signing with the Pacers, this time on a 10-day hardship contract as Indiana works to fill out its roster during this COVID surge. Shams Charania of The Athletic broke the news.

This is Stephenson’s third stint with the Pacers. The first started when the Pacers drafted him in the second round in 2010 and lasted through 2014 — that is when Stephenson was a vital part of the Pacers’ rotation and was blowing in LeBron’s ear in the playoffs. He returned in 2016 and played every game for Indiana in the 2017-18 season.

He had been out of the NBA for a few seasons but returned to the G-League to make a comeback this year, and when COVID hit the Atlanta Hawks signed him to a 10-day contract. In his debut, Stephenson played 23 minutes for a depleted Hawks team and got a standing ovation from fans.

Stephenson averaged almost 12 minutes a game over six games for Atlanta, but as the team starts to come out of COVID they let him go. Indiana jumped in and picked Stephenson up.