The center has reportedly agreed to a 4 year, $23 million contract.
The LA Clippers have made one of the savviest moves of the post-season so far, reportedly snapping up the sharpshooting 7-footer Spencer Hawes. Hawes fills a real need for the Clippers in the form of a quality back up big man.
Hawes had the best year of his career last year in terms of his all round performance and shone while playing for 2 pretty poor teams.
Last season saw only 8 players in the league shoot better than 45% from the field and 40% from three-point land while taking 10 or more field goal attempts per game and 3 or more three-point field goal attempts per game. Hawes was a part of that special group. In fact, of that group, only 1 other player also averaged above 8.0 rebounds per game and 3.0 assists per game. Who was that player? None other than Carmelo Anthony. That’s not bad company at all.
In juxtaposition to his offensive game, Hawes’ defensive abilities leave much to be desired. This, however, should be less of a problem in L.A. than it was in Philadelphia or Cleveland, owing to Doc Rivers emphasis on the defensive side of the floor and his ability to implement quality defensive schemes that can hide defensive liabilities.
As mentioned, behind Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan the Clippers were severely lacking in quality back up for their 4 and 5 spots. The acquisition of Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis half-way through the year somewhat addressed this concern but now they’ve made a major upgrade by adding Hawes to the roster.
Hawes brings floor-stretching shooting and genuine center height that will allow him to play alongside either Griffin or Jordon in a 2 big man line-up, while Hawes also has the offensive game to become a go-to option on the Clippers 2nd unit.
The Clippers used their mid-level exception on Hawes, which will see him receive just over $5 million next year. Given their lack of flexibility on the financial front, this is an excellent pick up for the Clippers and their potential to provide post-season success was surely one of the deciding reasons for Hawes to sign for them given that he’s actually taking a slight pay cut to move to L.A.
For a team that already boasted a wealth of talent, Hawes becomes yet another important piece in the jigsaw that is the Clippers' quest for a championship. Last year saw them beaten in the Western Conference semi-finals by the Oklahoma City Thunder in a tight 6 game series.
The addition of Hawes should help the Clippers push on and with the maturation of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan we can expect big things from the Clips next season.