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Why’d Mavs Attend Lance Stephenson NBA Workout?

The Dallas Mavericks were among the teams who attended Lance Stephenson's workout as he attempts an NBA comeback.

When the Dallas Mavericks entered the NBA offseason, an overarching goal was to find a secondary ball handler. So far, that hasn't quite panned out despite the looming sense of being the preferred destination for Goran Dragic, who remains with the Toronto Raptors. 

According to Adam Zagoria of The New York Times, the Mavericks were among the Washington Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Milwaukee Bucks in attendance for Lance Stephenson's workout.  

Stephenson last played in the NBA during the 2018-19 season as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. He played a rotation role averaging 16.5 minutes per game and posted averages of 7.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 68 regular season appearances. 

When evaluating the impact that Stephenson (eccentric by reputation) provides, the word 'inefficient' is one that comes to mind. He actually converted consistently on spot-up attempts and was solid as an isolation scorer during his last season in the NBA. However, he remained highly inefficient. 

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Within the half-court, Stephenson is mostly limited to having the ball in his hands to run pick-and-rolls or attack in isolation, or space the floor as a standstill catch-and-shoot relief option. He is not a player that can shoot off-the-move in off-ball screening actions. 

On a team that relies a lot on Luka Doncic using high ball screens, it could be a bit of a challenge for Stephenson to fit cohesively into the mix at times. He would need to be far more calculated in his decision making when trying to make flashy plays and his shooting from 2018-19 would need to sustain. 

There does not appear to be much room for Stephenson (surprisingly just 30 years old) in a hypothetical rotation setup, if there was an attempt to try to fit him in somewhere. It would be even more challenging if a potential Goran Dragic trade were to occur without moving a perimeter player who is in the rotation regularly.

In general, unless if the Mavericks were to go small for much of their lineup choices, Dorian Finney-Smith would have to slot heavily at the four for there to be a need for another wing player.

If the Mavericks sought a third-string option to be able to turn to in case of an injury to a playmaker, that's a context in which a Stephenson signing would make far more sense. Especially when considering the alternative options are underwhelming.