Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE
Doug Collins has already stated that Spencer Hawes will be the starting power forward heading into training camp, but don't carve that statement in stone just yet. Collins has proven his willingness in shuffling lineups in the past, and he may soon realize that Hawes simply cannot emulate Pau Gasol.
At 7'1" and 245 pounds, Hawes would have a considerable size advantage over any opposing power forward, and he and Bynum would form a fierce rebounding duo.
However, this size advantage would come at a cost. Hawes may be skilled for his size, but he is slow footed and would struggle mightily against quick, versatile power forwards like Kevin Garnett (proven), Josh Smith and Dirk Nowitzki.
Fortunately, the Sixers have an excellent alternative in Thaddeus Young.
Young is a bit undersized for the power forward position and only a mediocre rebounder, but given that Bynum is an absolute beast on the boards and Turner rebounds as well as a power forward.
Young's shortcomings in that area shouldn't be a major problem. And though he could struggle to defend beefier opponents, Young's constant energy and scrappiness will at least enable him to be a nuisance defensively.
At just 24-years-old, Young still has plenty of potential, but he will never maximize that potential unless given the opportunity to be a full-time starter. Young is one of the league's absolute best finishers at the rim, and he is a matchup nightmare for opposing power forwards. Young could stand to add a few pounds, but he seems like the perfect compliment to Bynum, regardless of his faults.
Hawes is a good player, but he simply isn't cut out for the power forward position in today's game. The NBA continues to evolve in favoring speed and versatility over height and power, and the Sixers would be wise to get with the curve and pair the mountainous Bynum with a quick and versatile counterpart in Young.