Lance to the Clippers
*Photo via USA Today
“In a high-risk, high-reward move, the Los Angeles Clippers have acquired guard Lance Stephenson from the Charlotte Hornets, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Clippers are sending forwards Spencer Hawes and Matt Barnes to the Hornets, sources said. The teams were having a trade call with the NBA office to finalize the deal on Monday evening, sources said.” via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports
Adrian Wojnarowski put it perfectly, this is a high-risk,high-reward type of move for the Los Angeles Clippers. Yes, Lance Stephenson was a bust in Charlotte his first season, but this isn’t Charlotte this is Los Angeles. The Clippers have plenty of stars and won’t need Lance to play a huge role. Instead, Lance will be able to play a role more similar to the one he had with the Pacers, in which he had great success. The main reason the Hornets were willing to offer him that type of money. If you don’t recall here are his stats:
So there is potential there, but there are a few risks. His shooting last season was putrid, shooting 17 percent from three. Something he will need to improve playing along Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, who constantly set their teammates up for open jumpers. Given, he will see more wide-open shots playing along Paul and Griffin so there should be improvement. But still, Lance should be putting up a ton of shots this summer.
Another potential risk is Lance’s antics, last year wasn’t too bad, but we all remember the years prior.(ex: blowing in LeBron’s ear) Luckily the Clippers have Chris Paul and Doc Rivers to help with this area.
Ultimately, I believe the Clippers are able to keep Lance tamed, but his playing time will come down to efficiency on the floor, is he turning the ball over , is he shooting a terrible percentage, is he overstepping his role. these are the things that will determine his success.
The Charlotte Hornets on the other hand, were happy to unload Lance, something they have tried to do since early last season. He was supposed to help the Hornets take the next step, but couldn’t even see minutes on the court.
The Hornets did receive two players in the trade, Matt Barnes and Spencer Hawes. It has been reported Barnes will likely be waived and Hawes’ role is really unknown. It seems the Hornets could use help off the bench, but Hawes wasn’t a huge success with the Clippers after signing last offseason. He will look to bounce back this season and could on this Hornets team.
Both parties seem to be happy with the results. The Clippers receive a high-risk.high-reward player, something they won’t be able to do in free agency if they resign DeAndre Jordan. So they were forced to get creative with a trade and they did. The Hornets on the other hand just wanted to be done with Lance.