NBA Trades 2014: Lance Stephenson To Hornets, Charlotte Eye Luol Deng, Aaron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson
By Lou Ramon Aguila | June 5, 2014 1:14 PM EST
The Charlotte Hornets are reportedly looking to make some noise in the free-agency period, as they set their sight on incoming free-agents Luol Deng and Lance Stephenson, a source close to situation reported on Thursday.
According to Charlotte Observer writers Rick Bonnell and Ben Weinrib, the Hornets have a chance to upgrade their lineup this offseason by signing quality free-agents available in the market.
The Hornets is coming off a first-round playoff appearance (Eliminated by the Miami Heat in four games) and have enough salary space to sign at least two impact players or All-Stars.
Luol Deng, who spent his college days with the Duke Blue Devils, could make his return in North Carolina, as the Hornets attempt to add offensive firepower at the small forward position.
"The former Duke star and NBA All-Star (Deng) was traded off the Chicago Bulls to the Cleveland Cavaliers in part because he turned down a contract extension. He wasn't a good fit in his half-season in Cleveland and it's hard to tell if that reflects more on him or the Cavaliers. His numbers (14.3 points on 42 percent shooting) were his worst in seven seasons," according to Charlotte Observer.
Another option for the Hornets is mercurial guard Lance Stephenson, who will become a restricted free-agent this summer. Obviously, the Pacers want the guard to stay in Indianapolis, but it would still depend on the other teams' ability to offer a max deal.
"He's (Stephenson) obviously a talent at shooting guard, averaging 13.8 points on 49 percent shooting this past season for the Indiana Pacers. The question would be his salary expectations and potential personality issues. He needs to better manage his emotions to be a better teammate," Charlotte Observer reported.
There also reports about the Hornets' plan to trade their first-round pick for Orlando Magic's Aaron Afflalo. Several weeks ago, the Hornets expressed their desire to make a deal that would help them get both Afflalo and veteran point guard Jameer Nelson.
"The rumbles have already begun that a player Clifford is said to regard with real fondness after working with him in Orlando as an assistant -- vet floor leader Jameer Nelson -- as well as current Magic swingman Arron Afflalo will be among the Bobcats' trade targets," according to ESPN NBA insider Marc Stein.
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