Spencer Hawes is filling in well for top draft pick Nerlens Noel. Hawes is averaging a double-double this season. The Philadelphia 76ers was planning on pairing him with Noel in the frontcourt, but might be better off trading him while his stock is high.
Hawes is posting All-Star numbers. He’s averaging 16.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.6 blocks while shooting 53-percent from the field and 49-percent on 3-pointers. He could be paired in a Dirk Nowitzki-type role with Noel, but his stats would drop if it happened. Plus, Hawes’ defense and physical play is lacking. So, it’s best if the Sixers were to part ways with him considering he’s in the final year of his two-year extension.
There are many teams who would trade for Hawes considering he’d be a low-cost rental player. The Sixers can deal him for a first-round pick to continue stockpiling their draft picks in order to increase their chances of drafting Julius Randle, Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker.
The Sixers will miss Hawes’ presence in the paint, but big men Lavoy Allen and Daniel Orton have been serviceable. Allen grabbed nine rebounds and Orton had a double-double against the league-leading Indiana Pacers. The Sixers are also in rebuilding mode, so they can be encouraged to take a bigger step backward this season before taking the major leap next year.
Another problem is that Hawes is a European-style center. He’s better taking outside shots and doesn’t like to play in the paint. The Sixers need a physical post presence, which is what Noel brings.
Hawes had difficulty during his time with the Sacramento Kings, and he’s currently at the height of his career. The Sixers should trade him while they can, or he will simply sign with another team. Either that, or the Sixers will be stuck with another bad contract plaguing the franchise for years if they offer Hawes top dollar next summer and he doesn’t fit in the system with Noel.