(Photo: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports)
Free Agent Type: Unrestricted
2013-14 Salary: 6.5 million
Projected contract offering: 3-6 million per year
Years in league: 7
2013-14 Notable Stats:
13.2 Points per game
8.3 Rebounds per game
41.6 three point percentage (Career high)
128 three pointers made or 1.6 per game (Career high)
1.2 blocks per game
78.3 Free throw percentage
In today’s pick and roll heavy NBA, a big that can step out and knock down perimeter shots has immense value. If that big can also rebound modestly and provide rim protection, you are now talking about a very rare breed and Spencer Hawes is one of the few players that fit that description.
Hawes is coming off his best shooting year from deep in his career, despite splitting his time with Philadelphia and Cleveland. Hawes actually improved his accuracy after being traded from Phily to Cleveland, from 39.9 percent to 44.8. It is that outside shooting ability in his 7 foot frame that will make him a very attractive free agent in the market. Hawes makes a great pairing with a big, bruising, defensive minded big man. If a team has a big that operates close to the basket, Hawes would make the perfect complement as he would improve spacing with teams having to defend his outside shot and he wouldn’t clog up the low post area as he mainly operates from the perimeter.
What makes Hawes unique is that in addition to his shooting prowess, he can rebound a bit and gives you a few blocks a game as well. His 8.3 rebounds per game last season is respectable but could have been much better. Hawes pulled down only 55.7 percent of his rebounding opportunities which is below average, so a team wouldn’t want to depend on him to clean up the glass.
A team like the Lakers would be a good fit with a power forward like Randle who is expected to be a tenacious rebounder and low post offensive weapon. The Clippers would also make a good home for Hawes who could spell either Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan and give either one more space to operate down low.
Teams likely to pursue Hawes would be Chicago, Clippers, Dallas, Cleveland and Miami; only Cleveland and Dallas would be able to offer Hawes more than the mid level exception of 5.3 million. Hawes would be a great fit with the Clippers, Chicago, Indiana, San Antonio and the Lakers. The list of suitors will surely be longer as Hawes set of skills can be effective in almost any system.
– Fern Rea
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