Stephenson peaked in Indiana playing next to George Hill, a point guard who doesn’t fit the bill as a ball-dominant point guard. Stephenson was allowed to be the primary ball-handler and creator for the Pacers’ offense.
Stephenson has since struggled playing next to ball-dominant point guards Kemba Walker and Chris Paul in offenses that are starved for spacing for him to work when he does receive the ball.
He’s not as good as Walker or Paul, which made it difficult and near-impossible to fit him into the offense in a way that was beneficial for both Stephenson and the team.
Giving the ball to Stephenson takes the ball out of better players and offense-creators, but playing him off-the-ball makes him almost useless offensively.
For Stephenson to be at his best, he needs to run the offense. In an NBA that has a surplus of high-quality point guards and wings capable of running offenses, Stephenson’s fits are limited.
The 25-year old combo guard is probably best-suited as a sixth or seventh man and lead ball-handler for a second unit.