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Should The Hornets Seriously Consider Trading Lance Stephenson So Soon?

Submitted by on December 3, 2014 – 12:40 pmNo Comment

When Lance Stephenson signed with the Charlotte Hornets as a free agent this summer, the thought was that he was going to be the X factor that the Hornets needed in order to be a better team than they were last season. The Hornets—then called the Bobcats—squeaked into the 2014 NBA Playoffs and got knocked off in the first round by the Miami Heat. So by bringing Stephenson into the mix, they believed that they were improving—and that they were going to be one step closer to being a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference. Stephenson was going to emerge as a star in Charlotte, put the team on his back, and will them to a much higher playoff seed this season.

That’s not how things have played out for the Hornets so far, though. Through their first 18 games of the season, Charlotte is just 4-14. And Stephenson has struggled to make the jump from role player with the Indiana Pacers last season to star with the Hornets. He’s averaging 9.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game with the team, which aren’t the worst numbers in the world. But he’s struggled to be an effective shooter and hasn’t been the difference maker that the Hornets expected him to be when they signed him. So now, they might be thinking about trying to trade him in order to get some help at the power forward position.

According to Grantland, the Hornets are actively seeking trade partners in order to improve their team quickly. And while they don’t want to trade their point guard Kemba Walker or their power forward Al Jefferson, everyone else is reportedly available, including Stephenson. And he’s one of the few players that other teams might be interested in trading for right now, meaning his tenure in Charlotte could only end up lasting a month or two.

Is that the right move for the Hornets to make? At this point, it’s clear that they need help. But we think that rushing to trade Stephenson will ultimately prove to be a mistake. Reason being, Stephenson is still trying to adjust to both his new team and his new role. And while things haven’t panned out just yet, there’s a good chance that they will pan out in the long run. So our advice for Charlotte is to remain patient and not trade Stephenson. It might not result in a deep playoff run this season. But once Stephenson gets used to playing in Charlotte, it could very well lead to success in the not-so-distant future.

What do you think about the idea of the Hornets trading Lance Stephenson? Should they do it—or should they give him more of an opportunity to prove himself in Charlotte?

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