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The Charlotte Hornets have reportedly made swingman Lance Stephenson eligible for trade ahead of teams being open to make deals on Monday.
Just 23 games into his career in Charlotte, the Hornets have begun the process of searching for potential trade partners that would be willing to take Stephenson off their hands, according to ESPN sources.
Although it is understood that there is no deal imminent, Monday is the first day that players signed to new contracts in July are eligible to be dealt, which ultimately leads to two months of talks ahead of the February deadline.
Stephenson’s current three-year deal worth $27m is only guaranteed through next season which would increase Charlotte’s chances of being able to offload him if another team is willing to gamble on the former Indiana Pacers star.
Sources insist that the Hornets are not desperate to move him, but if the right deal presents itself then they are more than willing to discuss terms and negotiate with teams.
Over the course of the season so far, Stephenson has struggled to adjust and mix with the likes of Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson. The 24-year-old is shooting 38.9 percent from the floor overall and has been a problematic part of the franchise’s 6-17 start to the season.
After the success of last year in which they reached the playoffs, it had been hoped that Charlotte would be able to make the next step with the arrival of Stephenson after he impressed with the Pacers. However, that hasn’t come to fruition and owner Michael Jordan will have a re-think about their plan moving forward.
Reports claim that aside from Walker and Jefferson, the Hornets are willing to discuss deals with any of their players, but it is still unlikely that they will make too many moves and break up the current roster entirely.