Yahoo- The Los Angeles Clippers gauged trade interest in Lance Stephenson and Josh Smith last month, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Stephenson can be traded now while Smith is not eligible to be dealt until Dec. 15 after signing as a free agent in the offseason. 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.
The Clippers haven't been as active in trying to move Stephenson and Smith in recent days because of the team's injuries, another source said.
"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."
Said another team's front-office executive: "They are talented, but when you add people like that it does affect the chemistry of their team. I don't think they will be traded. It's a tough thing to do because they didn't have a lot of takers beforehand."
Read the first sentence of this article. "The Clippers gauged trade interest in Lance Stephenson and Josh Smith last month...". Bear with me for a second while I check the calendar, but wasn't last month NOVEMBER? Didn't the NBA season start with like two or three days left in OCTOBER? So the Clippers gave their brand new toys, that they knew came with a warning label, all of a couple weeks before they grew tired of them? Doc Rivers might be a Hall Of Fame Head Coach some day, but he's basically an indecisive toddler with ADHD when it comes to being a General Manager. Trading Lance Stephenson and Josh Smith, without giving them a fair shot to contribute, is like requesting a roommate swap one week into Freshman year. If that's all the time you are going to give it then it's never going to work out with anyone else either. Of course there will be awkward moments where you have to get used to each other's likes and dislikes, but developing that chemistry is a process of trial and error. Doc Rivers is like the kid that plays 'NBA Live' and trades a player one game into the season after "he" shot 3-16 from the field. This is PROFESSIONAL basketball Doc. YOU decided to bring in strong personalities, and you're surprised that they didn't completely acquiesce with the locker room culture within one pay cycle?
If the Clippers want to make a serious run this postseason then they need to make talented, yet enigmatic, players like Lance Stephenson and Josh Smith work. Solely because any potential return they are going to get for them isn't going to be nearly as useful to a basketball team that has Championship aspirations. You don't trade volatile players with star qualities, and in turn receive non-volatile players with star qualities, let's just put it that way. This is a complete guess, but I am pretty sure Josh Smith has been on like 5 teams in 4 years. Something tells me he's not exactly a hot commodity. If Doc wants an idea of what he can expect to get for Lance Stephenson then he should take a look at what he traded to get Lance Stephenson, and I think we learned last year that the Clippers aren't a Spencer Hawes away from raising the Larry O'Brien Trophy. Doc Rivers kept the core of this team together because they were ready to win NOW, and constantly moving the pieces around that core isn't doing anything to help them attain that goal. It doesn't matter whether or not he thinks the Clippers current roster is working or not, because he hasn't even given his new employees an opportunity to learn the company policies.