Will Lance Stephenson Ever Regain Form He Had in Indiana?

Charlotte Hornets’ small forward Lance Stephenson has been traded to the Los Angeles Clippers for small forward Matt Barnes and center Spencer Hawes. The trade comes one season after Stephenson signed a three-year, $27 million deal with the Hornets last summer that includes a team option for the final year. This means the Clippers would only be on the hook for this upcoming season if Stephenson doesn’t pan out.

May 30, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) stands next to Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson (1) in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

May 30, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) stands next to Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson (1) in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Hornets are hoping Stephenson can regain the form he had during the 2013-2014 season in Indiana where he averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists while starting 78 games for a Pacers’ team that won 56 games and advanced to the Eastern Conference finals. Stephenson’s numbers fell to 8.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists while starting just 25 of the 61 games he played.

The Clippers could definitely use an upgrade at the wing and Stephenson has what it takes to provide that upgrade. He is only 24 and is a fierce competitor who will be surrounded by a talented roster led by NBA All-Stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Free agent DeAndre Jordan could be a third talented teammate to play with in LA if he does not leave. The Clippers are expected to offer Jordan a max contract, but there have been rumors of a rift with point guard Paul.

Doc Rivers, Clippers’ head of basketball operations and head coach, must have confidence in himself that he can get the most out of Stephenson who he is hoping is the missing piece in helping the Clippers get to their first-ever western conference finals next season. The departed Barnes is 35 and alienated Rivers often with his on-court demeanor and ability to get fined. In addition, Hawes was a terrible free agent acquisition last year by Rivers who signed him to a four-year, 23 million dollar deal. That’s a lot of money for a player who sat the bench for most of the playoffs.

I hope the deal works out for the Clippers. They are a fun team to watch when they are playing their game. However, a big part of me is saying Stephenson will not work out. If so, they can jettison him at the end of the season. I am sure Michael Jordan had an opportunity to try to mentor Stephenson and it still wasn’t enough. Like Doc Rivers says, Doc is only a nickname so don’t expect him to be able to change Stephenson overnight.

And that’s as I see it!

Follow As I See It at http://Scottdm71.com

Like As I See It on Facebook

Twitter handle: Scott_AsISeeIt

Internal photo courtesy of http://www.cbssports.com

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Words of Woodroffe : A Sports Blog

A simple man giving his passionate opinion on today's top stories in the sport's world.

the sports lampoon

Because Sports Are Serious

The Millennium Conjectures™

A Blog of the Ridiculous and Sublime, by Mark Sackler

Hanover Mortgages

Mortgage Lenders and Realtors Catering To Your Home Loans Needs

%d bloggers like this: