AP source: Hornets land SG Stephenson

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AP source: Hornets land SG Stephenson
MIAMI, FL - MAY 30: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat and Lance Stephenson #1 of the Indiana Pacers match up during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena on May 30, 2014 in Miami, Florida. 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 Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
The Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) faces off with the Indiana Pacers' Lance Stephenson in the first quarter during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals at the American Airlines Arena in Miami on Friday, May 30, 2014. The Heat won, 117-92, eliminating the Pacers. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - MAY 30: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat drives to the basket against Lance Stephenson #1 of the Indiana Pacers in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs on May 30, 2014 in Miami, Fl. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
The Miami Heat's LeBron James drives around the Indiana Pacers' Lance Stephenson as he drives to the basket in the first quarter during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals at the American Airlines Arena in Miami on Friday, May 30, 2014. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - MAY 30: Lance Stephenson #1 of the Indiana Pacers handles the ball against LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs on May 30, 2014 in Miami, Fl. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - MAY 30: Lance Stephenson #1 of the Indiana Pacers defends against LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs on May 30, 2014 in Miami, Fl. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - MAY 30: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat and Lance Stephenson #1 of the Indiana Pacers exchange words during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena on May 30, 2014 in Miami, Florida. 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 Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - MAY 30: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat and Lance Stephenson #1 of the Indiana Pacers match up during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena on May 30, 2014 in Miami, Florida. 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 Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - MAY 30: Lance Stephenson #1 of the Indiana Pacers defends against LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs on May 30, 2014 in Miami, Fl. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IND - MAY 20: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat handles the ball against Lance Stephenson #1 of the Indiana Pacers in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 20, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: 2014 NBAE (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 20: Lance Stephenson #1 of the Indiana Pacers tips in an inbound pass with 0.1 seconds left in the quarter against LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals on May 20, 2014 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 20: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat controls the ball as Lance Stephenson #1 of the Indiana Pacers defends during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 20, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. 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 Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 20: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat controls the ball as Lance Stephenson #1 of the Indiana Pacers defends during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 20, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. 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 Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson (1) and Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) exchange words during the second half of Game 3 in the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals playoff series, Saturday, May 24, 2014, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson (1) and Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) exchange words on the court during the first half Game 6 in the NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference finals on Friday, May 30, 2014, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson (1) defends Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6), during the second half Game 6 in the NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference finals, Friday, May 30, 2014, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
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BY STEVE REED
AP SPORTS WRITER

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Lance Stephenson is bringing his swag to Charlotte.

The controversial shooting guard has agreed to a $27 million, three-year deal with the Hornets, according to a person familiar with the contract. The deal includes a team option for the third season.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the deal has not yet been made public. The person says Stephenson is expected to be introduced at a press conference Friday.

Stephenson wrote on Twitter: "Indy, I had a great 4 years. Thank you Larry Bird, the fans, my coaches and teammates for the incredible experience. I will never forget any of you! I now have to look to the next phase of my career and the wonderful opportunity to continue to grow as a player and as a person in Charlotte! I'm excited to play for this franchise and the fans!! (hash)buzzcity."

Stephenson met with Hornets owner Michael Jordan and other members of the organization Tuesday night in Las Vegas to make sure he was a good fit before agreeing to the deal.

The Pacers had offered Stephenson a five-year, $44 million contract but he chose to sign for fewer years.

"While we tried our best to come to the best possible terms for both sides, there was not sufficient flexibility in the terms of the contract, particularly the length of the contract," his agent Alberto Ebanks said in a statement. "Lance will miss the city, the team and the mentor who helped transform him into the dynamic player he has become. He looks forward to making a strong contribution and beginning a new chapter with the Charlotte Hornets.

"Lance is forever grateful for all the love he's received from Pacers fans. He is especially grateful to his teammates, Frank Vogel, Herb Simon, the Pacers management and most of all, Larry Bird."

The 6-foot-5 Stephenson is coming off his best NBA season, averaging 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. He led the league with five triple-doubles.

Just as important, Stephenson brings some needed playoff experience and toughness to a team an organization that failed to win a postseason game during the past 10 seasons. Stephenson averaged 13.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 40.2 minutes per game during the Eastern Conference finals.

Stephenson was not Charlotte's first choice.

The Hornets turned their attention to Stephenson after Utah matched its offer to restricted free agent Gordon Hayward.

Stephenson certainly comes with his share of issues.

Outspoken and emotional, Stephenson had 17 technical fouls last season - third-most in the NBA. He plays the game with confidence, intensity and toughness.

During the Eastern Conference playoffs he challenged LeBron James and the Miami Heat with his words and later whispered in James' ear during Game 5. Miami won the series. He was also involved in a scuffle after practice with teammate Evan Turner during the playoffs.

Still, the Hornets couldn't ignore Stephenson's shooting, upgrading a team that finished in the bottom third of the league in 3-pointers made and 3-point field goal percentage.

The 23-year-old Stephenson shot 49 percent from the field last season and 35 percent from 3-point range. He is a 32.5 percent shooter from 3-point land for his career.

Gerald Henderson was last year's starting shooting guard. But with the addition of Stephenson and first-round draft pick P.J. Hairston it's unclear if the team will try to move Henderson this offseason.

Stephenson, who has averaged 9.1 points per game for his career, will leave a big hole on the Pacers roster.
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