It’s been reported by Grantland’s Zach Lowe that the 4-14 Charlotte Hornets are aggressively pursuing trades that would put the team back on track, and that the newly signed Lance Stephenson could be someone that the Hornets are looking to move, as Stephenson has been a bit of a disappointment this season.
Lowe included in the report that everyone on the Hornets roster is a candidate to get traded with the exception of Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson. Lowe also added that it’s unlikely that the Hornets will be willing to part ways with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Stephenson, who left the Indiana Pacers to sign with the Charlotte Hornets, has not helped the Hornets improve and become legitimate contenders in the eastern conference. In fact, Stephenson has done just the opposite.
Hornets owner Michael Jordan sat down with ESPN back in October and explained that the reason he signed Stephenson was that he needed someone who could compete with LeBron James, and he felt that there was no one better suited for that role than Lance Stephenson.
Teams around the league were somewhat hesitant to sign Stephenson when he chose to become a free agent this past summer, thinking that Stephenson could only be successful within the Indiana Pacers system. So far, Stephenson has proved those teams right, as his field goal percentage this season [.367] is the worst of his NBA career since he became a starter back in 2012.
There’s still no word yet on what teams are interested in Stephenson and what those teams would be willing to give up to acquire Stephenson’s services.
If the Hornets don’t receive any interesting or quality offers for Stephenson, they could very well stay put as any team in the eastern conference has a shot at making the playoffs. If the Hornets were in the western conference with the record that they have, they’d definitely be toast.
Teams who signed free agents this past summer cannot trade those players until December 15. So, if Stephenson is to be traded, it’ll still be another two weeks before it’s announced. But, the word is that the Hornets are looking to get a deal done before December 15 that would likely involve Stephenson being traded.
In the first 18 games of this season, Lance Stephenson is averaging 9.6 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.4 assists. His three point percentage [.184] is the second worst of his NBA career, and the worst of his career since he became an NBA starter.
[Image via Streeter Lecka / Getty Images]