The Clippers have reportedly reached an agreement with free agent big man Spencer Hawes, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
Unless the Clippers figure out a way to acquire Hawes in a sign-and-trade with Cleveland, his contract will account for their full mid-level exception, meaning they’ll only have the bi-annual exception (about $2.0 million) and veteran minimum contracts at their disposal to add free agents. This, of course, doesn’t include sign-and-trades, which is how the Clips are targeting Luol Deng and Paul Pierce.
The move seemingly shores up the Clippers’ big man rotation for the first time in the Chris Paul era, as Hawes is a quality backup big who can shoot, pass and rebound — he’s capable of starting for a handful of teams and had series suitors in Portland and Phoenix. There are some concerns defensively, but he should fit in seamlessly on the offensive end next to either Blake or DeAndre, and he won’t be playing more than 20-25 minutes per game.
Hawes averaged 13.2 points, 8.3 rebounds 3.0 assists and 1.2 blocks in 30.9 minutes last season with the Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers. What separates him from other bigs is simply his shooting: 41.6 percent on 3.9 3-point attempts per game, and 78.3 percent from the free throw line. Overall, he registered a 55.4 percent true shooting and a 15.7 PER.
Jordan is a free agent next summer and if, for whatever reason, he isn’t re-signed, the Clippers have a solid insurance policy now. Hawes is only 26, and isn’t being paid an outrageous sum, so his contract should be moveable, too.
The deal comes as somewhat of a surprise, as Hawes was projected to earn reasonably more on the open market. By accepting $5.3 million per year, he’s actually taking a pay cut (he made $6.6 million last season).
According to Woj, Hawes will have a player option on the fourth year and a 15 percent trade kicker:
Hawes was determined to sign with a contender and his commitment to the Clippers on Friday becomes a tremendous coup for president and coach Doc Rivers.
After missing the playoffs in five of his seven NBA seasons, the chance to be surrounded with All-Star talents Chris Paul and Blake Griffin offers Hawes considerable opportunity to flourish with his deft inside-outside game.
“Even taking a little less money, this opportunity was too exciting to pass up,” Hawes told Yahoo Sports on Friday night. “I’ve had a taste of the playoffs before, but being a part of this team will be just incredible. You get to a point where you really realize what’s important, and I was thinking: ‘What would my 12-year-old self have done? What would he prioritize?’ It was this opportunity and what they’re building with the Clippers.”
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