With the 2014 NBA trade deadline hours away, the Cleveland Cavaliers found a deal that will provide them with frontcourt depth as they make a push for one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.
This is by no means a blockbuster deal, but Hawes’ name has been on the block for quite some time now.
Hawes, a seven-year veteran, is averaging 13 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game in 53 starts for the 76ers this season, and will bring depth to a rather thin Cavaliers front line that has been limited by injuries recently.
The deal makes sense for the 76ers, who are in rebuilding mode and are looking to pile up draft picks in order to build around their young core of Michael Carter-Williams and Evan Turner. Additionally, with Nerlens Noel in line to become the franchise’s starting center for years to come when he returns from injury, there really wasn’t much of a place for Hawes beyond this season.
As for the Cavaliers, they land a reliable center, who can start in place of Anderson Varejao if he continues to be ailed by back issues as they make their playoff push.
Despite being 11 games under .500, the Cavs are just three games out of the East’s final playoff spot as they ride a six-game win streak heading in the second half of the season.
Hawes is also in the final year of his contract that pays him $6.5 million, so this is hardly a risky move for the Cavaliers, who won”t be committed to him for the long term and can utilize the cap space when he comes off the books at the end of the year.
In the short term, Hawes will help space the floor and has a few tools in his offensive arsenal with skills inside the paint and from range (shooting 40 percent from the three-point line). He can make defenders pay if they decided to double up on Kyrie Irving.
Clark and Sims seem to be just throw in players to make the trade work for salary cap purposes, but could be interesting players for Philadelphia.
Clark, whose $4.25 million contract next season is not guaranteed, averaged 5.2 points and 2.8 rebounds in 45 games and shot 38 percent from the field for Cleveland, but was widely disappointing after a promising season with the Lakers last year.
Sims is a still a very raw prospect and hasn’t seen much playing time this season.
Regardless, this deal was about the two second round picks for Philadelphia, who likely won’t retain the services of either Clark or Sims next season, and will continue to look for ways they can build through the draft.