Positions: Shooting guard, small forward
Contract status: Stephenson will make $9 million next season. His 2016-17 salary -- $9.4 million – is a team option.
Seasons in the NBA: Four
Telling statistic: Stephenson shot 17.1 percent from 3-point range, the worst such percentage in NBA history for a player attempting at least 100 3s in a season.
Season review: There was abundant hype surrounding Stephenson signing with the Hornets in July and his production never came close to matching the expectations. Part of the problem is Stephenson is more of a driver-passer than a jump-shooter. The Hornets need spot-up shooting more than they need what Stephenson provides, which is somewhat redundant to Walker’s skill set.
He went from a starter to a reserve to outside the rotation, missing two games by coach’s decision. Clifford was frank about the benching, saying Stephenson shouldn’t be blamed for the Hornets struggles, but he just couldn’t find a role for Stephenson that helped the team. Rookie P.J. Hairston inherited those minutes.
The Hornets have to figure out a role for him, because it’s hard to picture Stephenson being traded for much value coming off this season. Since the 2016-17 salary is a team option, he could become more of a commodity at the trade deadline as an expiring contract.