Report: Clippers Agree With Spencer Hawes

The Los Angeles Clippers have finally found a capable backup big man. According to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, the team has agreed to a four-year, $23 million contract with Spencer Hawes.

Wojnarowski says that Hawes’ deal is worth the full mid-level exception, though the Clippers could try to officially acquire him via sign-and-trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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…

The Clippers recruited Hawes hard for the full mid-level exception and worked with his agent, Greg Lawrence of Wasserman Media Group, on a deal that includes a player option for the fourth year and a 15 percent trade kicker, sources said.

The Clippers could still engage the Cavaliers on a sign-and-trade for Hawes, which could preserve Los Angeles’ exception. The Clippers also have interest in Brooklyn free agent Paul Pierce.

That last bit of information is important. Los Angeles has coveted Pierce since the opening of free agency, and recent reports suggest that the Clippers’ tries to engage the Brooklyn Nets in a sign-and-trade for the future Hall-of-Famer have been unsuccessful.

If Doc Rivers can’t get Brooklyn to agree to a deal, the surest means to landing Pierce would be the mid-level exception that Hawes is currently occupying. Expect the Clippers to make concerted efforts to complete a trade for Hawes with Cleveland – likely involving Reggie Bullock and either Jared Dudley or Matt Barnes – so they can bring both he and Pierce aboard.

As for Hawes specifically, this is fair value for a seven-footer of his caliber. A rare “stretch 5,” Hawes developed into an elite long-range marksman in 2013-2014, connecting on 41.6 percent of his three-pointers and jacking up 4.5 tries per-36 minutes. Though such prolific accuracy seems unsustainable, he gives the Clippers crucial spacing from the frontcourt that they’ve lacked over the past few seasons. Hawes is a gifted passer and solid rebounder, too.

Los Angeles needs most help on the defensive end, though, and Hawes isn’t the paint-intimidator or pick-and-roll thwarter it would ideally get from its third big man. But he isn’t heavy-footed, either, and has blocked at least 1.4 shots per-36 minutes every season of his career. If Hawes is committed defensively, he’ll certainly be an upgrade for the Clippers; the problem is that he hasn’t always been focused in the past.

However, that Hawes made it clear he wanted to play for a legitimate contender points to renewed vigor on both ends of the floor. This is a good deal for both teams – Hawes will help the Clippers and they will help him. The question now is what it means for Pierce.

Is Hawes a good fit for the Clippers?

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