The strange trade of Lance Stephenson from the Charlotte Hornets to the Los Angeles Clippers was surprising for many reasons — the timing, the lack of talent in return — but very unsurprising for one: Lance was a terrible fit with the Hornets, which GM Rich Cho confirmed for the Charlotte Observer. Here’s the key quote:
“Sometimes when you make a trade or a signing it just doesn’t work out well,” Cho said in a conference call. “He never fit in great. Sometimes you don’t know how (a player) will fit until he plays for your team.”
Cho specified that he meant in a basketball sense, and he actually praised Stephenson’s attitude about being benched for ineffectiveness, leaving the Hornets’ exit interview disappointingly bereft of shade-throwing. It’s still a step up (down?) from “We wish him all the best,” and as mentioned, it surprised exactly nobody. Any time a team with the Hornets’ combination of raw, young talent and aging veterans trades one of their few peak-age players for a player they’re assumed to be waiving (Matt Barnes) and a big man who couldn’t crack the shallowest rotation this side of the Great Lakes (Spencer Hawes), and who takes on more salary to do it, probably doesn’t think the world of the player they’re trading away.
Now the question becomes, is Lance Stephenson a better fit with the Clippers than he was with the Hornets? We’ll see in November (and we’ll judge it based on Chris Paul histrionics and Blake Griffin blank stares).
(Via Charlotte Observer)