Updates from Wednesday, July 2
Joel Freeman of The Oregonian has an update on Hawes' interest in the Blazers:
FA Spencer Hawes is "very interested" in joining the #Blazers, according to a league source with knowledge of Hawes' thinking.— Joe Freeman (@BlazerFreeman) July 2, 2014
Hawes "likes everything about the #Blazers," the same source told The Oregonian.— Joe Freeman (@BlazerFreeman) July 2, 2014
It's unclear when Hawes will make his decision, but the source said the free agent center was in "no rush."— Joe Freeman (@BlazerFreeman) July 2, 2014
Spencer Hawes has endured an up-and-down career since getting drafted 10th overall in the 2007 NBA draft. Although he's yet to reach his full potential, the lack of frontcourt depth around the league still makes the 26-year-old center a coveted free-agent commodity.
Marc Stein of ESPN reports there are at least five teams showing interest in Hawes, including a solid group of contenders:
Stretch big man Spencer Hawes drawing interest from clutch of contenders already (Blazers, Clips, Rockets, Mavs) on top of incumbent Cavs— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 1, 2014
Which team would be the best fit for Hawes?
One of the main reasons Hawes is generating so much attention is his ability to stretch the floor, as Stein pointed out. He averaged more than a three per game last season while shooting better than 40 percent from beyond the arc with the Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers.
All told, he averaged 13.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks while shooting 45.6 percent from the floor and 78.3 percent from the free-throw line. Not monster numbers by any means, but certainly enough to make an impact if given the right role.
The Portland Trail Blazers believe he would be a good fit and are making an aggressive early push to land him. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports states the sides have already met in Los Angeles to discuss a possible deal:
Portland GM Neil Olshey met with free agent Spencer Hawes and his agent, Greg Lawrence, tonight in Los Angeles, sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 1, 2014
Joe Freeman of The Oregonian heard from a source that the meeting was positive:
League source with knowledge of meeting between #Blazers and Spencer Hawes tells me it "went very well." Seems Hawes has genuine interest.— Joe Freeman (@BlazerFreeman) July 1, 2014
Hawes is an ideal option to pair with Robin Lopez at center. They bring different styles of play to the floor and it would also ensure the Blazers don't lose that stretch element when LaMarcus Aldridge, who has a terrific mid-range game, heads to the bench.
While Portland certainly seems heavily involved, the level of mutual interest elsewhere is more of a mystery.
Sam Amico of Fox Sports notes the Cavs are hopeful of bringing him back, but Hawes is more intrigued by other options right now:
Wojnarowski had more on another suitor for Hawes:
Free agent Spencer Hawes met w/ Warriors' GM Bob Myers in LA, who has trade exception to use; meeting with Doc Rivers shortly, sources say.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 1, 2014
Jodie Valade of The Plain Dealer passed along comments from the center back in April. He liked the fit in Cleveland but admitted he was going to keep every avenue open until free agency began:
"I like it here, I think it's a good fit," he said. "And when July comes you kind of see how the other side of the game, how that all fits together."
Elsewhere, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reports Hawes' asking price is around $8 million, which is probably too rich for the Los Angeles Clippers:
Following up @WojYahooNBA report on Spencer Hawes' meeting w Blazers ... Cavs interested, but told re-signing w team not priority for him.— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) July 1, 2014
That's a high price tag for a player of his caliber, but with demand high and supply low for productive big men, he'll probably get close to that amount somewhere.
Ultimately, the sweepstakes will probably come down to whether his top priority is winning, money or if he's trying to find the middle ground. A team like the Blazers, which finished fifth in the West last season, may end up being the best overall fit.
Hawes doesn't represent the type of signing that would shift the league's balance of power. Yet, he will bring some valuable versatility wherever he ends up.
Hearing Spencer Hawes may be too expensive for Clippers, Seeking $8 million per, made $6.5 million last season— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) July 1, 2014