The Charlotte Hornets came into the 2014-15 NBA season with high hopes of continuing to make steps in the right direction after making the playoffs last season. Lance Stephenson surprised everyone in the off-season by signing with Michael Jordan’s Hornets in free agency, but could already be on his way out.
According to Zach Lowe of Grantland, the Hornets could be open to making a deal with Stephenson potentially on the trading block:
The Hornets have been aggressive making trade calls, according to sources across the league.
The Hornets are searching for upgrades on the wing and at power forward, per those sources, and they are willing to talk turkey on basically anyone other than Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson.
In 18 games with the Hornets this season, Stephenson is averaging 9.6 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. Decent numbers for the Charlotte newcomer, but not game-changing for the struggling franchise.
Charlotte has lost nine games in a row and won only four games so far this season. With the Hornets arguably one of the worst teams in the league with no signs of turning things around, it comes as no surprise they’d start gauging trade interest players like Stephenson.
The Los Angeles Lakers are in a similar situation with only four wins of their own and Stephenson could be a player that peaks the interest of the 16-time NBA champions. It’s possible the Lakers could dangle Jordan Hill as trade bait, but neither player can be dealt until Dec. 15 with Stephenson and Hill both signing new deals last summer.
Hill is having a breakout year with the Lakers with impressive numbers across the board. The veteran forward/center is averaging a career-high 13.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Hill is currently leading the league in offensive rebounds along with Tyson Chandler at 4.1 per game.
Losing Hill would be a costly blow for the Lakers in the frontcourt and on the glass, but it might be worth the risk for an upgrade at small forward.[divide]
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