Clippers: 5 reasons Lance Stephenson should not be traded

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Nov 24, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Lance Stephenson (1) shoots the ball as Denver Nuggets forward Will Barton (5) and forward Danilo Gallinari (8) defend in the third quarter at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

He’s actually shooting fairly well

Last season, Stephenson’s shooting was abysmal. His 37.6 field goal percentage was bad enough, and he finished shots inside three feet (56.9 percent) at the lowest rate of his career since he was a rookie. As for his three point shooting, well, it was even uglier.

Not only did he hit a mere 17.1 percent of his threes, but he still attempted a total of 105 throughout the season. That insistence to shoot let him down, and ill-advised long twos off the dribble (31.8 percent from 16 feet) was a major flaw of his game.

Now that he’s with the Clippers, though, things have taken a surprisingly significant step forward.

Admittedly, there’s a relatively small sample size as Stephenson is only playing 18.7 minutes per game with just 4.7 field goal attempts in that time, but his efficiency has still been impressive (by his standards at least). With 43 percent shooting while making a career-high 41.4 percent of his threes (even if it’s only 0.6 makes from deep a game), Lance has improved an awful lot since his time in Charlotte.

If there was going to be one attribute that Stephenson could offer immediately, probably no one expected it do be decent shooting. Yes, the tendency to take long twos at times is still an issue, but if he can learn to control that, he’s instantly a better player with more potential than the likes of Crawford or Paul Pierce due to the rest of his game. And as a matter of fact, Stephenson’s true shooting percentage is actually slightly higher than the both of them right now.

At the very least, his increased accuracy is a promising sign going forward.

Next: His playmaking