Clippers: 3 bench players who should not be traded

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Dec 10, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) is fouled by Los Angeles Clippers forward Lance Stephenson (1) during the second half at the United Center. The Bulls defeat the Clippers 83-80. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Clippers’ need what Lance Stephenson has to offer

Besides the moments he chooses to hoist up the occasional long two, the Clippers need what Lance Stephenson has to offer. He reminded everyone of that again on Wednesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks as he quickly tallied four assists and four points in his first four minutes, and showed his energy once again. With a breakaway steal for a dunk and a put-back layup off a missed jumper, Stephenson added a few plays in his 18 minutes off the bench that showed how he can impact the game.

Wednesday night against the Bucks aside, though, Stephenson’s playing time has been all over the place. He’s been experimented with as a starter during the first two weeks of the season, and since then has received two DNP’s while averaging only 16.2 minutes per game since November 22 (when he was moved to the bench).

Whatever Doc’s long-term plan for Stephenson is, it looks uncertain. Straight after a DNP on December 14, he comes back in the next game with 18 minutes and makes an immediate impact as soon as he hits the floor. His role is just completely inconsistent right now. It must be hard for Lance to not know when or how much he’s playing, and still bring that kind of intensity and energy. Yet, that’s what Stephenson does.

It’s a key reason why the Clippers need to keep him, because of what that energy spurs him on to do in various aspects of the game.

He pushes the pace on offense and he’s the closest thing the bench have to a point guard with the way he looks to set up teammates. Add on his ability to drive to the rim, defend the perimeter and rebound, and Stephenson has a nice skill set to add some diversity to a weak bench who rely on inconsistent jump shooting to get by.

For a far more detailed breakdown of what Stephenson has to offer and why he shouldn’t be traded, click here. Otherwise, it’s time to look at the value of another summer acquisition.

Next: Luc Mbah a Moute