The Charlotte Hornets have decided to keep struggling swingman Lance Stephenson "for now" after receiving underwhelming trade offers, ESPN reported Friday.
The Hornets (6-19) have started slowly this season despite bringing back virtually the same roster that made the playoffs in April. Charlotte was a popular pick to make a deep playoff run this season after the team signed Stephenson to a 3-year, $27 million deal in the offseason.
Stephenson is coming off a career year during his final season with the Indiana Pacers. He averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists but his on-court antics – most memorably blowing in LeBron James’ ear during a playoff game — most likely hurt his free-agent value.
The Hornets reportedly explored dealing Stephenson, whose scoring, rebounding, assists and field-goal percentage have regressed from last season. Yahoo Sports/FOX Sports 1 NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Brooklyn Nets and the Pacers showed interest in acquiring Stephenson.