Philadelphia 76ers: Where Does Spencer Hawes Stand?

When the Philadelphia 76ers traded for Spencer Hawes back in 2010, it was a debate as to whether or not he could be a contributing factor to the team.  The Sixers had parted ways with long time center Samuel Dalembert as Hawes was brought in to be a replacement.

In his first two seasons with the Sixers, he spent the majority of the time coming off the bench, but provided a much needed spark to the lineup.  Following these two years, the team decided to keep Hawes as they offered him a two year contract worth 13 million dollars.

Despite criticism from many fans, Hawes proved that he was worthy of the two year deal he was given.  With the departure of Elton Brand and Nikola Vucevic, Hawes settled in to the starting center position.   

Last year as well as this year, Hawes appeared to be coming in to a comfort zone as he gave the Sixers much more than they could have expected.  These past two seasons have been his best as a pro as he is averaging 12 points going along with nearly 30 minutes per game.

This year in particular, Hawes has recaptured his three point shot and has a percentage of .403 from downtown.  Sixers fans are aware of this part of his game as he has made many clutch three pointers this season, such as the fading away corner three to force overtime against the Milwaukee Bucks back in November.

Now with the team struggling and the end of the season on the horizon, many questions come into play on which players to keep and which ones should go.  Hawes name falls into that category on whether or not they will decide to keep him in Philadelphia.

With the trade deadline coming up this Thursday, several Sixers names are circulating on the trading block.  Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner appear to be the most talked about, but Hawes’ name has been mentioned as well.

Some teams have shown interest in the seven year player, such as the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, and Portland Trail Blazers.  These teams are all fighting for playoff spots and adding Hawes could help.

If Hawes were to be dealt, he more than likely would be coming off of the bench.  This should not be an issue for him as he spent the majority of his early career as a bench player.

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With the deadline two days away, it appears less likely that the Sixers will be able to trade Hawes.  If they are unable to, they then have to make a decision on what they want to do with him when the season is completed.

Hawes is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.  With the Sixers being in rebuilding mode and Nerlens Noel coming back next season, it appears as if Hawes will not be back next year.

If they are to bring him back, they would most likely have to give him a bigger contract this time around which is something the team probably will not do.  The team appears to be heading in a different direction regarding the center position, so trading him before the deadline appears to be a rational decision.

Hawes has developed for the better during his time thus far as a Sixer.  He has shown the positives in his game, but also has revealed his flaws.

He has the ability to score in the paint as well as knock down outside jump shots, which are great qualities for a center.  However, he has not really provided the strength that the Sixers need to win games.

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It is clear that he struggles against players that are bigger than him and appears to have few answers.  He has been a good player for this young Sixers team, but does not possess the ability to take over a game.

The talent is there, but he does not really have the leadership potential that a young Sixers team needs.  He appears to be better suited playing as a role player on a team who already has an established starting five.

Many people at this time may feel that Hawes is a better option than Noel due to the size difference, but Noel still has plenty of time to grow and develop as a player.

The Sixers heavily invested in Noel for him to be the starting center for years to come.  With that being said, it most likely will result in Hawes not having a roster spot for next season.

However, nothing has been settled yet and for all we know, Hawes could remain a Sixer for the next couple of years.  This option does not appear likely, but still is a possibility.

With the trade deadline at 3:00 pm on Thursday, it will be interesting to see if Hawes, or Young and Turner for that matter, are still on the Sixers roster.

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