My buddies and I get together and watch a ton of Philadelphia 76ers games. It’s fun for me because I’m a Cavaliers fan, so I can calmly sit down and watch the game, while they sweat it out each night. We tend to point out funny things that happen during the game, and it seems like each and every night, something happens that makes us crack up. Someone does something that is just laughable in all aspects.
That someone is Spencer Hawes.
Hawes isn’t what you would call a dominant big man. He’s a bit soft, goofy-looking and his name is Spencer. However, for some reason, no one seems to talk about him as a talented center in the league. And I get it. He plays for a weak team and clearly doesn’t have the appeal of a guy like Dwight Howard. But seemingly every year, Hawes puts up solid fantasy numbers, and continues to fly under the radar.
This year is no different.
Hawes opened the season with a terrific performance in a shocking victory over the powerhouse Heat on Wednesday night. The 25-year old logged 29 minutes, which was almost twice as many as any other center, scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Hawes even stepped back and drilled a wide open three-pointer. He only had two assists, but we’ve seen Hawes demonstrate some strong passing ability in the past, and he could be a guy to average upwards to five per game down the road. With first round draft pick Nerlens Noel expected to sit out the entire season, Hawes really has no threat to his playing time this season. Still at only 25-years old, Hawes needs to warrant far more fantasy attention. In ESPN leagues, Hawes is currently owned in 72.4 percent of leagues, and prior to his strong outing on Wednesday night, he was owned in about 52 percent of leagues. It appears owners are beginning to turn the corner on Hawes, as they should be. Last season, Hawes was again fantasy relevant, stuffing the stat sheets. In 31 minutes per game, Hawes averaged 12.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 46.4 field goal percentage and 81 percent from the line. Now, he should see an uptick in minutes, and with less talent around him, should see a larger role in this offense.
Also, if rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams can play like he did in his debut, Hawes will certainly reap the benefits. In fact, five of Carter-Williams’ 12 assists went to Hawes during game one. Keep in mind that Hawes is currently in a contract year, so perhaps that serves as some extra incentive to play well this season.
Make sure Hawes is on your fantasy radar this year.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.