Newly Acquired Spencer Hawes Gives Cleveland Cavaliers Much Needed Floor Spacing
Another trade deadline has come and passed in the NBA, and yet again, it hasn’t quite lived up to the hype. The 2013 and 2014 trade deadlines were quite similar, with one or two legitimate deals and a couple very small deals sprinkled in. One of the two biggest trades of the day involved two of the teams that were expected to be the most active, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The first trade to happen on Thursday, the deadline day, involved the Cavaliers trading Earl Clark, Henry Sims and two second round picks to the 76ers in exchange for Spencer Hawes. The trade can be looked at as negative and positive for both sides, and we will take a look at both views for each team in the following paragraphs.
First, we can look at it from the Cavs’ perspective:
Positive: The Cavaliers clearly needed floor spacing; this is obvious. Other than Kyrie Irving and sometimes Dion Waiters, C.J. Miles, Anthony Bennett and Matthew Dellavedova, the Cavaliers have no legitimate three-point threats. Acquiring Hawes gives the Cavs a stretch-five that can space the floor, making it much easier for the guards, particularly Irving and Waiters, to get into the paint and either finish at the rim or kick it out for a wide open three-pointer.
So far in 2013-14, Hawes is shooting — when rounding up — 40 percent from behind the three-point arc. He is a career 35 percent three point shooter. Another minor detail to keep in mind is that shedding Clark’s contract certainly gives the Cavs more cap flexibility in the summer.
Negative: The Cavs could have used a defensive-minded center. None of the Cavaliers’ current big men — Anderson Varejao, Tyler Zeller, Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennett — can really be considered rim-protectors. Hawes, despite his 1.5 blocks per game, doesn’t necessarily bring much defense, especially as of late. Also, Zeller has been getting more minutes lately with Varejao being injured; he has been performing exceptionally well, averaging 10.6 points and 7.2 rebounds in 24 minutes over his last five games. Acquiring Hawes likely pushes Zeller down a few spots on the bench, further slowing his development.
Now we can look at this from the Sixers’ side:
Positive: Hawes probably wasn’t going to re-sign with the 76ers for next season, so at least they got something in return for him. Getting two second-round picks — something that would be a theme for the Sixers today — was certainly better than nothing. Sims and Clark will immediately step in and get significant minutes for the Sixers, but probably won’t hurt their obvious ‘tanking’ plan.
Negative: Hawes is probably worth a bit more than two bad players and a couple second round picks. Either the Sixers didn’t have many suitors for Hawes or they really didn’t have any better offers on the table. Getting any extra second round picks will help the Sixers’ rebuilding process, especially if they are able to use their excess picks to trade up in the draft.