MX23RW : Wednesday, December 12 19:56:35

Larry Bird eager to keep Lance Stephenson with Indiana Pacers

Larry Bird is hopeful that the Indiana Pacers can agree a deal to keep Lance Stephenson.

Larry Bird has revealed that the Indiana Pacers are eager to extend Lance Stephenson's contract with the team.

Stephenson impressed this season as the Pacers reached the Eastern Conference finals before being beaten by the Miami Heat, but he will become a free agent this summer.

Bird, the franchise's president of basketball operations, is hopeful of agreeing a deal to keep the 23-year-old for a reasonable price when they begin negotiations.

"I think his ceiling is what he wants it to be," Bird told reporters. "I always want him back. You just don't let talent like that walk away if you can help it.

"There's going to be a price and we're not going to go over that."

Stephenson averaged 13.8 points per game this season.


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Pacers' Danny Granger in action on May 24, 2012
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