Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers made a gamble Monday, trading for Lance Stephenson, who was a profound disappointment this past season with the Hornets. Of course, Spencer Hawes, who went to Charlotte in the deal, didn’t exactly validate the contract he signed for the full mid-level exception last summer in his time with the Clippers. Perhaps the greatest sacrifice in the trade for the Clips was Matt Barnes, their starting small forward, though that carries a touch of irony, since it appears the Hornets will waive Barnes soon. Here’s more on Monday’s swap, already the second of the offseason after Thursday’s Bucks/Pistons move:
- Rivers backed out of a proposed trade with the Hornets during the season that was similar to the deal that went down Monday, sources told Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Rivers and his staff called people around the league this past week to gauge their opinions on Stephenson, Markazi writes.
- The 15% trade kicker in Hawes’ deal gives him an additional $1,698,926 that’s spread over the 2014/15 season as well as the next two for the Hornets, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders details (All four Twitter links). The $1,698,926 bonus is equivalent to 15% of his salary for 2015/16 and 2016/17, which is the remaining guaranteed salary on his contract, though because it’s still technically the 2014/15 season until June 30th, the bonus is spread over this season, too.
- The Hornets wisely cut their losses with Stephenson, and the team’s desperation to rid itself of Stephenson was clear, opines Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer, who doesn’t have faith that the former Pacer will resurrect his career with the Clippers.
- Some people at the ownership level in Brooklyn wanted to trade for Stephenson this past season, but GM Billy King never felt comfortable about bringing him on, tweets Robert Windrem of NetsDaily. The Nets and Hornets reportedly discussed Stephenson proposals multiple times.