Getting Hawes to return to Cleveland is more beneficial than advertised.
First off, he's by far the best big man on the team in terms of spacing the floor. He posted 16.3 points per-36 minutes on 44.8 percent shooting from behind the arc in his 27 games with the Cavaliers—both career highs.
It's not the biggest sample size, but he benefited from leaving a rebuilding Philadelphia 76ers squad. He will be entering his eighth season, and he's hitting his prime to perhaps be one of the bigger steals in free agency.
Since he can play pick-and-pop with Kyrie Irving, it makes it a lot easier for the Cavs point guard to get to the rim or make the easy pass. Too many times Irving has had to create his own shot off high-ball screens without a big man who poses a consistent, legitimate threat.
Ultimately, Irving does need to move the ball more, but this would help him earlier in the shot clock.
Furthermore, if the Cavs drafted Vonleh, he would give them a lengthy power forward to work inside. He has fantastic offensive upside and is already physically ready for the pros, and surrounding him with shooters will make his life a lot easier as a rookie.
But for this to happen successfully, they need to re-sign Hawes, who made $6.6 million this year. Given his recent production, I'd expect for his next contract to be more than that annually but nothing close to Deng's $14.275 million.
This gives the Cavs the best opportunity to go after other free agents, whether they are rising stars or veterans. This way, they can address some other areas, such as perimeter defense and a shooter off the bench if they don't re-sign C.J. Miles.