The latest move on the free agency trail was that of versatile big man Spencer Hawes, signing a four-year, $23 million deal with the Los Angeles Clippers. While the strong get stronger, by adding a starting-calibre centre to play off the bench behind Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, Hawes’ fantasy value takes a big, big dive.
Last season, Hawes was an absolute steal, being drafted late in drafts, but providing top 50 value as the only big man of any discernible talent on the Sixers. Then the trade to th Cavaliers happened, and somewhat surprisingly, he kept up the same torrid pace. Here’s what Hawes was able to do last season.
That is a pretty impressive stat line for a centre — hitting threes, dishing dimes and hitting free throws, stats that you don’t usually expect from a pivot. It was by far the best season of Hawes’ career, setting career marks in scoring, three-pointers, rebounds, assists, free throw percentage and minutes played.
The problem for the upcoming campaign is how the Clippers depth chart looks in the frontcourt. Griffin and Jordan are obviously the undisputed starters at the four and five, with Griffin playing 36 minutes and Jordan 35. Last season, the next big man was Glen Davis, and he played only 13 minutes and the other players to spend time at the four were Danny Granger and Hedo Turkoglu. Davis is also an unrestricted free agent and may return, but it will be Hawes who is the main big man off the bench.
In projecting Hawes’ value for next season, I’m assuming that Griffin and Jordan will play a similar minute load, as that’s the way Doc Rivers likes to run his rotation. I think the maximum minutes Hawes will play is 18 minutes as he really only a centre and I think the Clippers will only be able to play he and Jordan on the court together for minimal time.
That’s a big drop from the 31 minutes he played last season and I project his stats out like this.
Yuck! What a drop off! That takes Hawes well off the radar for 10 and 12 team leagues and I’d only consider him in 14 team leagues. It’s a shame, because he was a great success last season — now, it opens up minutes in Cleveland’s front court. It just remains to be seen how they fill out their rotation.