Tag: Matt Barnes

Chicago Bulls v Charlotte Hornets

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


The Clippers agreed to a trade with the Hornets that will have Lance Stephenson in place on the roster to start the 2015-16 season.

But they could have had him much sooner than that.

L.A. reportedly had a similar deal in place with Charlotte last season, but Doc Rivers ultimately decided to stand pat.

From Arash Markazi of ESPN.com:

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.

It’s easy to understand why the Clippers would hold off on making a move like this in the middle of the season.

Stephenson can be a tough fit from a personality standpoint, and reportedly clashed with his teammates in Charlotte. It’s one of the reasons the Hornets looked to move him midway through his first season with the team, after they signed him to a three-year deal as a free agent the previous summer.

L.A. viewed itself as a championship-caliber squad, and it wasn’t going to make a risky move that could potentially derail its season. Now, however, it’s become clear that the Clippers need to upgrade their roster, so making the move in advance of next year’s campaign makes a lot more sense.

If it ends up not working out, it’s still a good deal for Los Angeles from a salary cap perspective. Hawes fell out of the rotation entirely, and would have been on the books for another three seasons. Stephenson’s deal, however, is only guaranteed for next year, with the team holding the option for the season after that.

Report: Hornets unlikely to keep newly-acquired Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes

Now that the Hornets unloaded Lance Stephenson in a Monday evening trade with the Clippers, they have some decisions to make. One of the pieces they acquired in the deal was veteran forward Matt Barnes, who has one year and $3.5 million left on his contract. Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Charlotte’s front office is undecided as to whether they’ll keep him for the final year of his deal or waive him to create more flexibility.


Barnes is a solid defender capable of knocking down open threes, but at 35 years old, he doesn’t really fit with the Hornets’ timeline. If the Hornets waive him, they’ll probably wait until after the draft to see if they can use him as salary filler in a potential trade. There are a lot of teams that could use him if he hits the open market.

Report: Clippers and Hornets agree in principle to Lance Stephenson trade

Lance Stephenson

Earlier on Monday, multiple reports indicated that the Hornets and Clippers were discussing a trade that would send talented but erratic swingman Lance Stephenson to Los Angeles in exchange for Spencer Hawes and Matt Barnes. Now, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting that the teams have agreed to the deal and it’s on track to get done tonight.

By all indications, there are no picks involved in the trade, just an agreement to swap one bad contract for another. This is a swing for the fences for the Clippers — if Stephenson pans out, he gives them a dynamic wing defender.