Sources: Clippers gauged trade interest for Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith

The Los Angeles Clippers gauged trade interest in Lance Stephenson and Josh Smith last month, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Lance Stephenson. (AP)
Lance Stephenson. (AP)

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."

After the first season of his three-year, $27 million contract, the Charlotte Hornets traded Stephenson on June 16 to the Clippers for Spencer Hawes and forward Matt Barnes. Entering Monday, Stephenson was averaging 5.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 19 minutes in 19 games for the Clippers. He started 10 games, but was demoted with his last start coming Nov. 12.

Smith was averaging career-lows in points (5.4), rebounds (4.3), field-goal percentage (.386) and minutes (15.4) through the first 20 games this season. He signed a one-year deal paying the veteran's minimum in the offseason.

The Orange County Register previously reported that Smith was involved in a loud shouting match with a Clippers assistant coach following a 90-81 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Nov. 21. The assistant in question was Mike Woodson, a source told Yahoo. Woodson coached Smith in Atlanta.

The Clippers have also been open to trading guard Jamal Crawford since the offseason, sources told Yahoo.

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