Now that the NBA Finals are over, with the Golden State Warriors beating the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 4-2 win in Game 6, there are all kinds of new NBA Trade Rumors circulating. Specifically around one player Lance Stephenson, who will be traded for Spencer Hawes and Matt Barnes.
According to Mass Live, Lance Stephenson of the Charlotte Hornets has been traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. Part of the reason was that Stephenson, who was under a three-year $27 million contract staring 2014-2015, had a disastrous season as the team finished 11th in the Eastern Conference.
The Los Angeles Clippers went pretty far before they lost the 3-1 series lead to the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference semifinals. LA apparently needs to bring in some help, assuming that DeAndre Jordan is in place as he enters unrestricted free agency after his great season.
So what will Charlotte get in return? How about Spencer Hawes and Matt Barnes. Hawes is a big contract guaranteed to 2017, when he will have player option. Hawes had some problems with this rookie year, averaging 5.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.2 assists for the Clippers in the 2014-2015 season. He was, for the most part, at the end of the bench during the 2015 playoffs.
As for Barnes, he was part of the Clippers' starting lineup. He is in the final year of his contract and will make $3.5 million this upcoming season. His averages are 10.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.1 assists while starting 74 games in 2014-2015.
According to ESPN, the Hornets general manager Rich Cho had this to say about the trade: "We are pleased to add a pair of proven veterans to our team. Spencer Hawes is an experienced big man whose outside shooting gives us additional flexibility on offense. Matt Barnes is an experienced veteran who knows the NBA." Cho had this to say about Stephenson: "We'd like to thank Lance for his contributions last season. He was a consummate professional during his time with us."
ESPN also states that Stephenson, 24, struggled in his first season with the Hornets, averaging 8.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.2 assists while starting just 25 of the 61 games that he played. Should the Clippers want him, they believe that Stephenson will have the form that he had with Indiana with 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 4.6 assists while starting 78 games two years ago for a Pacers team that won 56 games and advanced to the Eastern Conference finals.
The Pacers actually made Stephenson a deal with a five-year $44 million contract after the season, but at the time, Stephenson led the league with triple-doubles with five, felt the offer undervalued him before he turned it down to sign with Charlotte.
We'll have to wait until the next NBA season before we see if the Clippers benefit from having Lance Stephenson on their team, and whether the Hornets got the best with their trade.