The Los Angeles Clippers finally have their third big, signing former Cleveland Cavaliers and Philadelphia 76ers center Spencer Hawes to a four-year, $23 million deal.
Hawes may not be the rim-protector the Clippers have been missing, but his offensive game speaks for itself. In knocking down 41.6 percent of his three-point attempts last season, he became one of the best pick-and-pop bigs in the NBA. Just how dominant was Hawes on the offensive side of the ball during 2013-14? Take a look:
• In splitting this past season between Philadelphia and Cleveland, Hawes sank 41.6 percent of his threes on 3.9 attempts per game. He boosted his percentage in the second part of the season with the Cavs, for whom he shot 44.8 percent on long balls. He became the ultimate pick-and-pop big man, something that any team (including the Clippers) could use.
• As a pick-and-roll roll-man, Hawes averaged 1.11 points per play with the 76ers and 1.07 points per play with the Cavaliers. That put him in the top quarter of NBA roll-men this past season. That came mainly because of his effectiveness out of the pick-and-pop.
• Hawes was one of the league’s absolute best jump shooters in 2013-14, and that’s not just for a big man. During that hot streak with the Cavs, he posted a 58.6 percent adjusted field-goal percentage on jumpers. In Cleveland, he ranked in the 97th percentile of NBA jump shooters, judging by points per play. He wasn’t much worse as a 76er, ranking in the 86th percentile in points per jumper.
• Hawes has a chance to be even better in the pick-and-pop playing with Chris Paul. The Clippers averaged 1.01 points per pick-and-roll play that Paul started this past season. That ranked top 10 in the NBA. Paul gets guys open. We know that, and when Hawes gets open — at least when Hawes of the Cavaliers gets open — he doesn’t miss, posting an obscene 70 percent adjusted field-goal percentage on unguarded catch-and-shoot jumpers with Cleveland.
• Because of his dominance in the pick-and-pop, you won’t see Hawes post up all too much. He did so only about 12 percent of the time last year, and his teams didn’t do particularly well on those plays, averaging just 0.84 points per play facilitated by Hawes in the post. But you rarely see the Clippers’ bench unit (or any group of reserves) post up all too often. Hawes’ post-ups could go down even more with the Clips, especially considering how his outside game could complement Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
• The struggles inside weren’t just on post-ups, though. Hawes was even less effective around the hoop on non-post-ups, relative to the rest of the league. He ranked in the bottom quarter of the NBA in points per non-post-up play around the basket. Essentially, the Clips are going to need him to make his jumpers and threes. As long as Jordan or Griffin is there with him to help in the important minutes, that should be just fine.