Clippers: 5 reasons Lance Stephenson should not be traded

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Dec 5, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers (R) talks to Los Angeles Clippers forward Lance Stephenson (1) during the second half against the Orlando Magic at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Who could the Clippers even get in return?

Stephenson’s fit hasn’t been perfect in L.A. yet and while he’s started improving recently, he’s clearly not done enough to bolster his trade value after such a poor year with the Hornets. This is what brings about the most obvious issue with a potential trade.

If the Clippers were to trade Stephenson or package him with Smith, could they really get much in return?

As Marc J. Spears discussed in his report revealing that the Clippers have been gauging trade interest in Stephenson and Smith, he added that one NBA executive said there isn’t much of a market for them:

"“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.”"

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The executive is obviously right, as the disappointing start of the Clippers and the struggles they’ve had early certainly hasn’t helped their trade value. It’s going to take a while for Stephenson to recover from damaging this repeating and value while in Charlotte, and L.A. simply won’t get much in return for him right now.

As for Crawford, his ability to provide instant offense (albeit at an unreliable rate) and tally the odd 30-point game is still going to give him some value to teams lacking scoring or depth. Considering what he’s proven over the course of his career, others could easily be more likely to take a chance and trade for him instead of Lance.

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On the other hand, the Clippers could target a team who lack enough depth that they would need the services of both Stephenson and Smith. However, this brings the issue of the Clippers back to the surface, as do they really have the depth or chemistry themselves to start making multi-player moves this early in the season? No. Especially if they would have to package Stephenson and Smith together to create a deal that would entice other teams enough.

When looking back through all these factors, it’s hard to think that any exploratory calls or possible trade plans Doc Rivers has for Stephenson are a good decision. Of course there’s no way to know what will happen or if he’s definitely trying to move him, but if anyone needs to go, Crawford is the best option.