The NBA Finals have yet to end, but we already have our first major offseason news, as the Clippers made a deal to send Matt Barnes and Spencer Hawes to the Charlotte Bobcats for disgruntled shooting guard Lance Stephenson.
The first thing that jumps out here is that, on paper, the Clippers got a great deal. Stephenson’s a proven high quality starter in the league at shooting guard or small forward and can slide down to play point guard as well, which is especially helpful because the Clippers don’t have a quality backup point guard.
On the other side, Matt Barnes is the poor man’s Andre Igoudala as he is a tenacious wing defender who can hit some three’s when called upon but other than that, he is pretty limited offensively. Spencer Hawes, on the other hand, is just bad, and is on contract for another 3 years with a price point around $17 million.
So why did the Bobcats take on a bad player with a worse contract to get rid of a good player they signed just last year? Things must have been that bad in the locker room with Stephenson. This wouldn’t be the first time Stephenson has been at the center of a locker-room conflict as he seemingly alienated many of his teammates with the Indiana Pacers before leaving for the Bobcats.
The Clippers most likely think (with a veteran leader like Chris Paul and a coach like Doc Rivers) it is an environment that Stephenson could flourish again.
But well done by the Clippers for going out and getting Stephenson. Spending wise, they are capped out this offseason so the only way they could improve their team is through a trade and they did just that — finding Stephenson at a bargain basement price and offloading a bad player as well.
— Lance Stephenson (@StephensonLance) June 16, 2015