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Sources: Lance Stephenson, Pacers agree on three-year contract

SAN ANTONIO -- The Indiana Pacers are bringing back a familiar face.

Free-agent swingman Lance Stephenson has reached an agreement with the team on a three-year, $12 million deal, league sources informed ESPN.

The first two years of the deal are guaranteed, and the third year is a team option, sources said.

Stephenson, 26, spent the first four years of his career as a member of the Pacers; they were his most productive years before he exited for Charlotte via free agency in the summer of 2014.

His career has taken a downward spiral from his Indiana days. He has had stints with the Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans and Minnesota Timberwolves.

One of his most famous moments came in 2014, when Stephenson was caught on film blowing into Cavs All-StarLeBron James' ear while the two prepared for a free throw to be shot.

Stephenson has career averages of 8.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.

The Pacers (37-37) are currently occupying the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference standings. They haven't put together back-to-back wins since early February.

The Pacers waived guard Rodney Stuckey on Wednesday, clearing the way for Stephenson to return.

The move comes a day after the team announced he would miss four to six weeks with a strained left patellar tendon.

Stuckey has been plagued by injuries all season. He appeared in only 39 games, a little more than half of the Pacers' total heading into Wednesday's matchup at Memphis.

With the Pacers still fighting to get in the playoffs, the team decided it couldn't afford to be short-handed over the final two weeks of the season.

The 6-foot-5 Stuckey averaged 7.2 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists this season. In three seasons with Indiana, he averaged 10.1 points and 2.6 assists.

Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird called Stuckey a good influence on the team.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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