The Charlotte Hornets took a gamble by pursuing Gordon Hayward, making a max offer for the restricted free-agent forward, and it didn't pay off, now that the Utah Jazz informed the Hornets they will match.

That leaves the Hornets with about $20 million in cap space, and a roster it's seeking to upgrade aggressively, which a league source said will lead to the next big front in free agency — Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson.

According to the source, the remaining serious suitors for Stephenson are expected to be Charlotte, Dallas — if and when the Rockets match the Mavs’ offer sheet for Chandler Parsons — and Indiana. Several teams mentioned in connection with Stephenson, including Boston, Chicago and the Lakers, have not been serious in their pursuit, the source said, while others could register late interest.

The Pacers have made an offer to Stephenson, worth $44 million over five years, but the feeling in Stephenson’s camp has long been that a little patience would pay off. As top names on the market continue to commit to teams, Stephenson has gained some leverage. No formal offers have been exchanged, it should be noted.

Both the Hornets and Mavericks have their misgivings on Stephenson, of course. Though he averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists last season, concerns about his maturity, on and off the court, remain. That is the main reason that Stephenson hasn’t gotten the type of offer — a four-year, $44 million deal similar to what Tyreke Evans received from New Orleans last summer — he has been seeking.