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How does Jeremy Lamb's trade to the Hornets affect his future?

Jeremy Lamb has had an up-and-down NBA career so far, but reuniting with Kemba Walker on the Charlotte Hornets could be exactly what he needs.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

A quick recap of Lamb's NBA career so far: through three professional seasons, all with the Oklahoma City Thunder, he hasn't really carved out a definite role, although he's been steadily improving. Last season, his playing time took a big hit, although he did start an NBA game for the first time in his career (and he went on to start seven more). He's become known as a three-point shooter (although he's just above-average at that skill and not great yet), doesn't have a great defensive reputation despite the steps he's made in improving his game, and has become a very solid rebounder for a wing player. His reputation isn't great at the moment, although everyone sees Lamb as one of those guys who could eventually pull it all together, but he had definitely fallen out of favor with Scott Brooks in Oklahoma City and probably wasn't going to see his playing time increase there.

Enter the Charlotte Hornets. Make no mistake, even though the Hornets would've been happy to get anybody in return for the Matt Barnes contract that they received in exchange for Lance Stephenson, they definitely want Jeremy Lamb in Charlotte (unless an overwhelmingly good trade offer comes in during the draft, but that's another story). Matt Barnes, at this point, is still a better player than Lamb, but there are age and contract concerns with Barnes that there aren't with Lamb.

So why do they want Jeremy Lamb? The biggest answer is the most simple: three-point shooting. Lamb shot .356 and .342 from beyond the arc in the last two seasons, which isn't terrific, but would have finished second on the team of players who attempted over a hundred threes. Yeah, the Hornets were the worst team in the NBA in three-point shooting last season, finishing with a team mark of .318. That's terrible! Lamb will immediately improve their team in that regard, especially since he's likely a bench player, and their second unit in particular is sorely lacking in outside shooting of any form.

Lamb's a pretty decent fit for the team besides that, too. The Hornets, led by head coach Steve Clifford, really value ball control, which makes sense-- they needed to get a shot off on every possession, because not a lot of those shots were going to go in. Although it might have something to do with his lack of aggressiveness in the passing game and average court vision, Lamb rarely turns the ball over, and that entirely fits in with this team's ethos.

Furthermore, moving to the Hornets gives him an opportunity to work on his shortcomings. His skills will be emphasized, which will allow him to make his shooting more consistent, but more importantly, his defense will certainly be bolstered. Steve Clifford is a defense-first coach, who turned one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA into a top-five defensive team in his first year as a head coach in the NBA. He's made offensive-first players like Al Jefferson become defenders that wouldn't hurt the team and turned marginal NBA players like Chris Douglas-Roberts into contributors.

Steve Clifford is the perfect coach and runs the perfect system for Jeremy Lamb. A full offseason working with the Hornets will turn his defense into something that isn't a detriment, and would allow him to extend his time in the NBA, if not just his playing time next season. There's no guarantee that Lamb will definitely put it together and become the player many people thought he would be when he was selected 12th over all in the 2012 NBA Draft, but I'm not sure there was a better landing spot for him than the Charlotte Hornets.

Better yet, he gets to join Kemba Walker, Charlotte's starting point guard. I could be wrong, but I believe there was some success the last time the two of them teamed up. Hopefully their chemistry carries over and translates to wins at the professional level.

Feel free to link videos of your favorite Kemba/Lamb UConn moments in the comments!