Clippers trade Lance Stephenson to the Grizzlies for Jeff Green

Courtesy of Justin Ford, USA Today Sports

The Los Angeles Clippers have apparently traded Lance Stephenson and a first-round pick to the Memphis Grizzlies for Jeff Green in a deal that was conducted right before Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline.

This is a pretty odd deal for the Grizzlies, who had also sent Courtney Lee packing in a trade earlier this week.

Green, 29, has been playing darn good basketball, averaging 19.8 points and 5.3 rebounds over the past eight games. He was among Memphis’ only consistent scoring options, especially with Marc Gasol out indefinitely after breaking a bone in his foot earlier this month.

We aren’t exactly too sure what the plan is here for a Grizzlies team that currently finds itself as the fifth seed in the Western Conference. Has the team given up any hope of contention this season, instead looking to the future? The acquisition of a first-round pick in this deal seems to indicate that.

From a Clippers’ perspective, the addition of Green could end up being a coup. He’s automatically an upgrade over a player in Stephenson who failed to mesh with the team after being acquired from Charlotte last summer.

After all, Stephenson was averaging less than 16 minutes and just 4.7 points per game with the Clippers prior to the trade.

Even with Paul Pierce on the roster, it sure seems like Green will come in and act as the team’s starting small forward down the stretch. That in and of itself is a major upgrade for Doc Rivers and Co.