Stephenson makes Hornets better

His defense helps Charlotte, and Indiana will miss him despite the antics

Updated: July 17, 2014, 12:55 PM ET
By Amin Elhassan | ESPN Insider

Lance StephensonWinslow Townson/USA TODAY SportsLance Stephenson's athleticism and positional versatility will be valuable to Charlotte.

The Charlotte Hornets announced the signing of unrestricted free agent Lance Stephenson to a three-year, $27 million deal with a team option on the last year. After swinging and missing on restricted free agent Gordon Hayward, Stephenson represents a nice consolation prize.

Meanwhile, the Indiana Pacers are looking at one fewer offensive option on a team starved for offense. Here's a quick look at how this move impacts the Pacers, Hornets and Stephenson himself.

For the Hornets

Charlotte had its own offensive struggles last season (albeit not as severe as Indiana's), and Stephenson goes a long way to helping the Hornets in that respite. He's a strong, sturdy guard who can legitimately play three positions. His dribble-penetration skills force defenses to collapse, and his size and strength allow him to finish at the rim. While he's no drop-dead shooter, Stephenson has improved every season and shot a career-high 35 percent on 244 3-point attempts last season -- respectable for a guy who made just four 3-pointers two seasons ago.