To some, it’s the heart of the holiday season. To basketball diehards, it’s the start of the greatest part of the calendar — the trade season. And no one’s generating more trade rumors right now than the Charlotte Hornets and Lance Stephenson.
Everyone needs a home for the holidays. Which team should welcome Born Ready into theirs? The Hardwood Paroxysm crew is here to help sort that out.
The Hornets should trade Lance Stephenson to the New York Knicks
By Ian Levy (@HickoryHigh)
Trade Package: Lance Stephenson for Jose Calderon + Iman Shumpert
Pros for Hornets: The Hornets get to take a huge, giant, enormous mulligan on what seemed like a shrewd and calculated risk this summer. In exchange they get some of what they were looking for in Stephenson, just divided into two different players. Shumpert can space the floor, sort of, and at one point showed flashes of capable wing defense. Calderon can definitely shoot and can handle some measure of offensive facilitation responsibilities.
Cons for Hornets: The contracts here are the opposite of what would be ideal for the Hornets. Calderon has two more years, at just over $7 million a season. Shumpert’s contract is up at the end of this season and if he turns into a useable piece the Hornets would have to pay him, possibly by foisting Calderon off on some other desperate deal-maker. Basically it creates a financial hole, but that’s the price for getting rid of Stephenson.
Pros for Knicks: Lance Stephenson is an infusion of talent, on a completely reasonable contract. His early-season struggles have depressed his value to the point that he’s actually attainable for the Knicks, something that can’t be said for most other players at his ability level. It would take some significant hammering on the anvil to get Stephenson playing within in the triangle, but he has all the requisite skills and is probably going to take some significant hammering to turn into a positive in any offensive system.
Cons for Knicks: Some teams hoard draft picks. Others hoard stashed European prospects or tradeable young assets. The Knicks hoard chaos. Stephenson doesn’t exactly have a lengthy track record of success, as bright as his two shining season in Indiana were. The Knicks lack organizational stability and have repeatedly failed, often apathetically, in the reclamation project department. Stephenson could be great. Or he could be a time-warp to the early 2000s when the Knicks were at their filthy, flaming worst.