Hornets trade Lance Stephenson to Clippers for Hawes, Barnes
The Lance Stephenson experiment is over in Charlotte.
The Hornets gave up on the struggling guard Monday, trading him to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for center Spencer Hawes and forward Matt Barnes.
The Hornets felt Stephenson was on his way to becoming a star when he averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists while starting 78 games two years ago for an Indiana Pacers team that won 56 games and reached the Eastern Conference finals. They gave him a three-year, $27 million contract figuring he would be bring some needed playoff experience.
It was evident early on that Stephenson wasn't a good fit in Charlotte.
He played in 61 games and started 25. Stephenson's 17.1 percent 3-point shooting ranked as the worst in NBA history and he averaged 8.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 25.8 minutes.
He also missed 19 games due to injury.
"We'd like to thank Lance for his contributions last season," Hornets general manager Rich Cho said in a release. "He was a consummate professional during his time with us."
Cho said Hawes gives the team a big man who provides outside shooting and brings flexibility on offense, while Barnes brings some needed experience.
Stephenson wound up taking fewer years and less money to sign in Charlotte after the Pacers made him a five-year, $44 million contract offer. He has two years left on his contract but only one is guaranteed, so the Clippers will be off the hook if it doesn't work out next season.
The deal was also a chance for the Clippers to unload Hawes' contract.
He has three years left on a four-year, $23 million deal he signed last summer with the Clippers.
Hawes struggled to find playing time this season and is coming off his worst season since his rookie year, averaging 5.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists. He didn't play in seven of the Clippers' 14 playoff games.
The 35-year-old Barnes has one year left on his contract and will make $3.5 million this upcoming season. This past season he started 74 games and averaged 10.1 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists.