Of late, Lance Stephenson has played better for the Clippers (he’s been asked to do more ball handling with the second unit). Josh Smith has put up numbers, but when he has been on the court this season the Clippers have been outscored by 6.8 points per 100 possessions. Both looked like smart pickups by Doc Rivers this summer, but neither have blended seamlessly into the Clippers through the first six weeks of the season.
The Los Angeles Clippers gauged trade interest in Lance Stephenson and Josh Smith last month, league sources told Yahoo Sports….
Two NBA executives told Yahoo Sports that the Clippers would have hard time trading the struggling newcomers who have not fit in well during the team’s slow start….
“There is not much of a market for them,” one NBA executive said. “They are buyout candidates. Maybe Lance goes back to Indiana, you never know. You won’t get back much for them.”
The rumblings around the Clippers have been that they realize their window in the Chris Paul/Blake Griffin/DeAndre Jordan era isn’t going to get any better than it is right now, but they remain steps behind Golden State and San Antonio (and maybe Oklahoma City as well). So they are considering all options that could bring in players who are a better fit. Jamal Crawford also has been rumored as a potential trade piece. There’s a sense something needs to be done.
Except, if they Clippers can’t get value back, they may need to ride this roster until next season.
Doc Rivers the GM rolled the dice with these personalities, betting on Doc Rivers the coach being able to mold them into a second unit that could take the Clippers to that next level. Instead he’s got Smith getting in an argument with a Clippers’ assistant coach (Spears says that was Mike Woodson). The Clippers may be hedging that bet a little. Building a cohesive team is not that simple.