Clippers Agree to Deal With Spencer Hawes
One of the NBA’s best shooting big men is now off the market. The Los Angeles Clippers have reportedly filled a huge need inside the paint, as they’ve come to terms with former Cavaliers and 76ers center Spencer Hawes on a four-year pact.
The deal is reportedly worth $23 million and puts Hawes on a legit title contender for the first time in his career. Generally competitive NBA teams don’t spend big money to get better at a position of weakness, but the Clippers went all out to land a young, versatile big man in an effort to get more balanced all over the court.
Hawes averaged a career high 13.2 points and 8.3 rebounds per game during the 2013-14 NBA season, despite splitting his time with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Cleveland Cavaliers (after a trade). While Hawes won’t be confused with an elite paint defender anytime soon, he brings terrific size and balance to the table, as well as over a block per game.
The Clippers have been starving for help down low for a while now, and only got inconsistency assistance out of Glen Davis for parts of last year. Hawes is being paid handsomely to play more of a bit role with a winner, but the move should prove to be a good value for L.A. considering all the positive things Hawes brings to the table. His size, rebounding and shot-blocking will be extremely helpful, but his biggest asset might be his outside shooting ability.
Hawes has a reliable enough outside shot to help stretch defenses when he’s on the floor, while his steady play provides excellent depth to a team that had very little of it behind studs Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Hawes is also fairly efficient for a jump-shooting big man, which could help L.A. avoid a major drop-off in offensive production when he has to fill in for the usual starters.
It’s a much bigger move than some will give it credit for at first glance, as Hawes’ name doesn’t carry the weight of someone like Pau Gasol or Chris Bosh, but he brings the same kind of value. In fact, Hawes was probably just a serviceable starter in the league prior to this signing, but coming off the bench he could be a flat-out ace. It remains to be determined if his finesse game will be a perfect fit with “Lob City”, but on paper this looks like the type of addition that could push a very well-rounded and deep Clippers squad one step closer to the NBA Finals.
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