Report: Charlotte Hornets close to Dealing Lance Stephenson


Lance Stephenson may not be with the Hornets too much longer. There are talks ongoing between the Charlotte Hornets and the Los Angeles Clippers to send Stephenson west for a couple of players. This was first reported by Yahoo Sports with further reports from Arash Markazi of ESPN.

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A potential deal for Stephenson currently looks like this: the Hornets will send Stephenson and the Clippers will send backup big man Spencer Hawes and utility wing Matt Barnes. Hawes is currently under a four year $23 million deal. Barnes makes 3.5 million this year before becoming a free agent after next season.

This trade, if it goes through, represents a scenario in which both teams believe they win. The Clippers are staring down yearly contests for the West with the Golden State Warriors. They need perimeter defenders to guard the many shooters that the Warriors offer. Stephenson represents that, assuming he can rediscover the form he had with Indiana two years ago.

For the Hornets, this trade allows them to back away from Stephenson without losing everything they invested. The real profit in this trade would be Hawes. He would come in as the logical backup at center. He also gives the Hornets some flexibility as they decide what to about Bismack Biyombo and Jason Maxiel this off season.

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The Stephenson signing never panned out last year. Lance never produced in the way that he produced for the Pacers, and he combined that with shooting 17% from the three point line. This might be the most merciful way to close the book on that chapter.

Of course there is always the chance that the Hornets are going to be even more active on the trade market. While they would most likely keep Hawes, there is the possibility that Barnes could become part of a future trade.

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