Spencer Hawes had a breakout season during the 2013-2014 NBA campaign and he became a free agent for the first time this summer and was eager to join a team that has a chance to compete for an NBA title.
On Friday, he agreed to a four year deal worth 23 million with the Los Angeles Clippers, as reported by Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski. However, the Clippers want to try and work out a sign and trade to try and keep their mid level exception so they can still be active in the free agent market, reportedly interested in Brooklyn’s small forward Paul Pierce who played for LA coach Doc Rivers in Boston.
Hawes averaged 13.2 points per game, 8.3 rebounds per game, 3 assists per game, and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting 45.6% from the field, 41.6% on 3-pointers converting 78.3% of his free throws in 80 games with the Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers. He will be a super sub for the Clippers at the power forward and center positions, spelling Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, not to mention an insurance policy in case either player gets hurt. And with Jordan’s abysmal FT shooting (42.5% for his career), Hawes may find himself on the floor closing out close games at center.
Rivers got the most out of talented, but inconsistent, big man in Jordan last season in his first year as the head coach. Jordan averaged a career-high in points per game (10.4), rebounds (league-leading 13.6), blocks (2.5), and steals (1.0). He also made a career-best 67.6% of his field goal attempts. Rivers has Phil Jackson-like motivation skills and the ability to get inside his players heads and bring out the best in them. Hawes will benefit from playing for a coach like Rivers and his best days should be ahead of him at just 26 years of age.
Hawes has averaged 9.7ppg and 6.4rpg in 500 games during his 7 year career. He entered the league after just one season at the University of Washington with the Huskies where he averaged 14.9ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.9 apg and 1.7bpg. He was the 10th overall pick in the first round by the Sacramento Kings in the 2007 draft. He played three seasons there before he was traded (along with Andres Nocioni) to the Philadelphia 76ers for defensive-minded center Samuel Dalembert.
The Clippers also need a backup point guard after Darren Collison signed a three year deal worth 16 million, but LA has shown an interest and is the leading candidate to land Jordan Farmar as his replacement. Farmar wouldn’t have to travel far at all since he played for the Lakers this past season.
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