Jul 4, 2014, 8:02 PM EDT
On the list of Clippers needs this summer has been depth along the front line. Last season Doc Rivers’ best option for most of the year was Ryan Hollins, at least until they upgraded to Glen Davis when Orlando decided to buy him out. So yes, the Clippers best big off the bench was a guy the Magic wouldn’t play.
The Clippers have upgraded now have upgraded.
Free-agent 7-footer Spencer Hawes has reached agreement on a four-year, $23 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Hawes was determined to sign with a contender and his commitment to the Clippers on Friday becomes a tremendous coup for president and coach Doc Rivers.
Doc Rivers is trying to turn this into a sign-and-trade, which would leave his mid-level exception to chase Paul Pierce for the three (another Clippers need).
The Clippers offered Hawes the full mid-level exception. In a world where Marcin Gortat gets $12 million and big men are routinely overpaid, this is a good value pickup for the Clippers. Hawes will come off the bench behind DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin.
Hawes is a skilled big comfortable at the arc — 35 percent of his shots last year were threes and he knocked down 44.8 percent of them. That said, he can rebound and he is a very good passer. He has a complete offensive game and creates matchup problems if you don’t lean on him to
This is a huge offensive upgrade for the Clippers bench — and the Clippers had the best offense in the NBA last season.
The key for the Clippers is Hawes needs to defend, that is the end of the court where the Clippers need to improve. Hawes will block some shots but the Clips need consistent effort out of him, and Hawes’ middle name has never been consistency.
In addition, this does raise some questions about the Clippers future up front.
As one NBA exec put it to me recently, if Clips sign Hawes, how does Doc afford extension for DeAndre next season??—
Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 04, 2014
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