GM Rich Cho Transcript on Trade with Los Angeles Clippers

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced on June 15 that the team has acquired center Spencer Hawes and forward Matt Barnes from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for guard Lance Stephenson. Below is the transcript from Cho's conference call with the media.

Opening Statement:

We are really excited to acquire Spencer Hawes and Matt Barnes in this deal. Spencer gives us a veteran game – he has proven himself in this league and adds a lot of experience to the locker room. He has the ability to face the floor in offense as an outside shooter and is a great passer as well. He has a high basketball IQ and we’re really excited to have him on the team. As far as Matt, we’re still evaluating our options with Matt. But before I end, I would like to thank Lance for all his hard work during the year and being a professional last season.

On what it will take for Hawes to reclaim his form from two seasons ago:

He didn’t have a very good year last year with the Clippers, but I think he just needs to have a comfort level.  I just talked to him a little bit ago and he’s really excited to be here. I know our coaches are really excited to have him as well. We’re just looking forward to getting him here and getting him accustomed to our offense and defense and then having him work with our coaches.

On why Lance Stephenson did not work out in Charlotte and how he handled it:

I thought Lance handled it really well, actually. I think it was kind of a shock to the system when wasn’t playing as much. He got out of rotation a little bit, but he handled it professionally and I thought he was a great teammate and I don’t have anything bad to say about Lance.

When he realized it was not going to work out with Lance:

I don’t know the exact time but sometimes things don’t work out and you have to move on. I think it’s important to realize when things aren’t going to work or haven’t worked and you have to move on from there.

On how Michael Jordan said the thing he didn’t understand at first when he first took ownership of the team was that it’s really important to recognize when something isn’t working and deal with it decisively – make mistakes, move on, don’t let them fester and if that was the message that came down:

There was no directive that we had to trade Lance, so I’m just talking philosophy. I think what MJ said to you was correct. I think that’s one thing that is important – you realize, hey if something doesn’t work, let’s move on. Let’s give it some time to work, and if it doesn’t look like it’s going to work then let’s move on.

On elaborating on exploring their options with Matt Barnes:

We are elaborating on what we’re going to do with Matt moving forward. Over the next few weeks, we will evaluate and figure that part out.

On if this move gives the team a chance to get back to the chemistry level it had two seasons ago:

I do think we had really good chemistry two years ago and for whatever reason, we probably didn’t have as good of chemistry last year. I wouldn’t put that all on Lance. I do think Spencer is very good locker room guy. I’ve known Spencer for a long, long time, just being from Seattle. I’m also very close with his uncle on his mom’s side. I know Spencer is a solid person and he’s going to be a good locker room veteran presence for us.

On if Hawes is somebody who can address Charlotte’s 3-point issues:

Yes. One thing Spencer has done throughout his career is shot the 3’s – career 35 percent shooter from (3-point line). Last year he shot 31 percent, but the year before during his brief time in Cleveland, he shot close to 45 percent and overall shot 40 percent. A career 35 percent from 3’s is good for a guy his size, and he’s a 70 percent shooter from the line.

On if  this is the first of the series of moves to improve that 3-point shooting or news that just stands on its own:

We’re certainly going to keep looking to improve the team and improve our shooting as well. I can’t think definitively that we’re going to make moves, but we’re going to try and see what we can do to improve the team.

On if there is anything definitive about Gerald Henderson and what he’s going to do (with his player option):

No, not yet.