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Pacers sending free agent Lance Stephenson a unified message: return for another title shot

Paul George knows the Indiana Pacers are a better team with Lance Stephenson, and he wants him back.

The two-time All-Star said Saturday at a day camp in suburban Indianapolis that he has spoken with Stephenson but does not know what the unrestricted free agent will do.

Indiana has made a five-year, $44 million offer to Stephenson, who led all NBA guards in rebounding last season and finished with a league-high five triple-doubles.

But the feisty and sometimes contentious Stephenson thinks he can get more money on the open market. He is exploring his options now that some of the biggest free agents have made up their minds.

Indiana, meanwhile, is holding out hope that Stephenson returns.