The Clippers have acquired Lance Stephenson from the Hornets as part of a three player deal. In return, the Hornets’ will receive C Spencer Hawes and F Matt Barnes.
For the Clippers, this is a risky move but also could be very beneficial for them. Stephenson has two years left in his contract with a team option for the 2016-2017 season. If things don’t work out with the Clippers, they would only be on the hook for 9 million this upcoming season. This is an automatic upgrade for Los Angeles, as Stephenson is only 24 and is athletic and great in the open floor.
With Paul running the offense it should allow him to see more open shots. Stephenson could also be used as a backup point guard while Paul is out of the game, a position he had thrived in from time to time when he played for Indiana.
Hawes will give the Hornets a stretch four player that can hit it from long range, which is something the Hornets’ have desperately needed, he has 3 years and 17 million left on his deal and should get a lot more playing time with Charlotte. Hawes didn’t really fit in with the Clippers and often wasn’t part of the rotation. As for Barnes, he’s owed 3.5 million dollars, but everyone expects the Hornets’ to buy him out some time before July 1st.
Stephenson’s talent has never been in question as much as his maturity as well as the on court incidents he has been involved in. Under Doc and veteran leaders like Paul and Griffin, this could be a match made in heaven. For now the All-Star point guard has a new running mate and we expect to see a more athletic Clippers team which could be deadly next season.