Report: Doc Rivers backed out of deal to trade for Lance Stephenson last season

BY foxsports • June 16, 2015

Apparently, when the Clippers acquired Lance Stephenson on Monday evening, it wasn't the first time they had the option of doing so.

Now that the Clips have brought Lance into town, reports have surfaced that they could've actually made a trade for him midseason, but turned it down. From ESPN's Arash Markazi:

There are plenty of teams out there who wouldn't even take Stephenson for free given his history of locker room malignancy. Clearly, the Clippers changed their philosophy on him at some point. Heck, maybe this is all just a reaction to that blown 3-1 lead to the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference semifinals.

(H/t to ESPN's Arash Markazi.)

Photo Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Does Doc Rivers the Clippers’ president of basketball operations believe that Doc Rivers the Clippers’ coach can handle Lance Stephenson?

That is presumably one of the many questions Rivers was forced to ask himself as he sat in his office on Monday mulling a trade that was on his table and essentially up to him to accept or veto. The Charlotte Hornets had already agreed to ship Stephenson to Los Angeles in exchange for Spencer Hawes and Matt Barnes. It was up to Rivers, both the president and coach, to decide if it was worth it.

Charlotte tried to pull off a similar trade with the Clippers last season, sources say, before Rivers backed out.

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