Posted by: Tim Parker
07/06/12 12:53 pm EST

Let’s take a journey through the magical land of the NBA off-season. 

In a special place where the Notorious BIG and Lil Kim once reigned supreme, there lived a “HOV” named Jay-Z.  This HOV and his majority owner friend from a continent far far away loved their basketball team so much that they gave Deron Williams $100 million, plus new toys to play with like Joe Johnson, and Gerald Wallace. 

Meanwhile, in  Hollywood, where the land of make believe truly exists (thanks in part to the abundance of dutiful plastic surgeons) Kobe Bryant was given the renewed dream of championship grandeur with the gift of an artful, mystical, point guard named Steve Nash.

And all across the valley of the NBA, hope was spreading as the principalities and powers brought Jason Terry to Boston, Jeremy Lin to Houston (unless the NYK match the offer sheet), Jamal Crawford to the Clippers, and Jason Kidd to New York.

Yes, even King James, who firmly sits on his championship throne, wants to delight in even more glee by recruiting Ray Allen (perhaps), the best marksman in the history of the land. 

But the greatest story of them all was the wondrous and glorious extension given to Spencer Hawes by the majestic power that is the Philadelphia 76ers front office.


Oh, and this is certainly no fairy tale for Sixers’ fans.


While the rest of the League is desperately equipping themselves for the difficult task of trying to somehow take down the super power that is the Miami Heat, the Sixers have extended a center that is serviceable at best.  After all he is a better mid-range shooter, than he is a low post threat.

It’s mediocrity at it’s finest.

It represents exactly what the 2012-2013 season will be about.  The Sixers will battle for the 8th, 7th, or 6th seed in the Eastern Conference.  They will get smoked by an conference power in the playoffs.  They will get a mid- first round draft pick (which Miami will then receive) and this same conversation will be had next year.

The two year deal for Hawes, reportedly worth $13 million for Hawes isn’t outlandish by any stretch of the imagination.  After all, he will certainly be more productive then Jason Kapono was for a similar contract. 

Though, the problem is that this extension shows what the Sixers won’t be doing and how nothing will change competitively and  that they once again know that they have absolutely no chance to win an NBA Championship.

The signing highlights the huge blunder that the NBA draft was for this front office.  It now seems that Maurice Harkless will be just another wing player that the Sixers didn’t need.  At first thought, it was believable that Andre Iguodala would be featured in a trade that  would score the Sixers a big man that they sorely need. 

The Hawes deal changed that dramatically. 

The Steve Nash deal also didn’t help matters much.  The Lakers now have no need to move Pau Gasol.  Thus, squashing the option for Iguodala heading west in a trade. 

The Hawes re-up also shows that they have no plan on rebuilding. 

On the other hand, the Suns knew exactly what they were doing with the Nash sign-in trade.  They know that they were in basketball purgatory with an aging superstar, in a stacked Western Conference.  So, getting something in return for Nash to  begin the refreshing of the franchise was the absolute golden move.

Yet, in Philadelphia the front office just doesn’t seem to get it.  They are still devoid of a good shooter, a game changing star, or a big men who can battle in the post.  This is the description of a middle of the road team that’s going nowhere fast. 

Meanwhile, the entire Atlantic Division has improved around them.  The Knicks, Celtics, and Nets have all improved themselves with dramatic and bold moves.  What’s the common theme here?  They were all tremendously terrible and began to rebuild.  They also have aggressive front offices.  Meanwhile, the Hawes signing for the Sixers keeps them good enough to be not good enough. 

Hey, even the Raptors tried to get Steve Nash!

None of this is to say that the Sixers don’t want to win, because we all know they do.  However, they don’t have that gusto and fortitude to take a risk needed to get to the championship level.  The Hawes signing shows that.

It was the safe predictable play. 

It’s a move that keeps the Sixers sojourning in the land  of  the ringless and the mediocre. 


12 Responses to “HAWES IS BACK”

  1. Joe
    6. July 2012 at 13:29

    Why don’t you wait until you see how the rest of the off-season goes before burning your season tickets. Hawes being resigned as a starter is bad but if the Sixers can land Ilyasova to be the starter I’m ok with Hawes as the backup.

  2. Jodie
    6. July 2012 at 22:06

    Look at the deal. 2 years just above the league average salary. what’s the big deal? He’s a 7-footer who can (sometimes) effectively run the pick-and-pop, is a decent passer and he can get his behind up and down the floor with the rest of the guys.

    It’s rare to see deals made in the NBA that’s player-for-player, and with this contract, when Iggy actually IS trade-bait (next year) will be an expiring one. Not a bad asset to have an extra 7-footer with an expiring contract to potentially help facilitate some trade.

    Spencer Hawes is a career extra body. I don’t like the guy on my team at all, but I understand the signing. ‘Specially considering we got Nick Young on a 1-year contract. This guy will be playing for his NBA life!

  3. Mike
    6. July 2012 at 22:40

    “It represents exactly what the 2012-2013 season will be about. The Sixers will battle for the 8th, 7th, or 6th seed in the Eastern Conference. They will get smoked by an conference power in the playoffs. They will get a mid- first round draft pick (which Miami will then receive) and this same conversation will be had next year.” This paragraph summarizes our season completely. we just don’t have the talent right now to battle Boston, Miami, Brookyln or even Indiana. We are stuck as the perennial eight seed.

  4. RYN_JAY
    6. July 2012 at 23:58

    Just because we didn’t get a superstar this year doesn’t mean we can’t get one next year. We’re clearing cap space and keeping all our young players. Yea you can say we’re playing it safe and conservative but we don’t have really many choices now. Just gotta be patient and have these guys gel another year. We HAVE TO try and make a splash next year though. We’re building a team the old-fashioned way.

  5. ken
    7. July 2012 at 01:11

    this team really needs to get rod thorn outa his chair and put in a person that will actually take a shot at players and try to make things happen or trade our high value assets so we can get top 10 draft picks. im tired of 4 straight years of pick inbetween 12-17 doin that gets you nowhere.

  6. Rick
    7. July 2012 at 08:27

    First off Ilyasova is a gangly power forward who is more like a 3 in terms of size and weight but doesn’t possess the skill… know who your talking about before you bash the column. And as much as i HATE Hawes… he’s better than Ilyasova who might not even play in the US next yr…

  7. LarryM
    7. July 2012 at 10:49

    The only way the Sixers become contenders is by getting one or more star players. Easier said than done. Aside from the “get worse intentionally to try to get a lottery pick” strategy, which isn’t happening (and maybe shouldn’t). that means signing a star FA or trading for one. Both tall orders, and both probably impossible this year given who is or was available.

    So really the issue becomes, has the team’s moves put them in a position to get that star player next season? A qualified yes. In that regard, the Young signing was brilliant. Hawes, of course, was a 2 year deal, so signing him does marginally impact next year’s cap numbers.

    But only marginally, and other options out there would have been worse in that regard. One could make a case for not signing a center at all and going with the young guys, but that’s a move that carries risks of its own.

    Bottom line: I don’t love the signing, but, in terms of the team’s chance of long term success, it’s irrelevant.

    I’d add that the need for a star is also a defense of the harlness pick. His chances of achieving stardom are slim, but that’s true of any mid or late first round pick. I think you can make a case that, of the players available at 15. he had the highest upside.

  8. Ryan
    7. July 2012 at 13:40

    I actually kind of like this move, along with the Young singing and amnesty of Brand. It looks like the Sixers are going to be in great position to make changes over the next year, Hawes could be a good trade piece. With the current ten man rotation they have signed for next season they should be a somewhat better team as long as they stay healthy and plenty of space to add on when an opportunity comes up.

  9. Sloetry
    7. July 2012 at 17:26

    When we talk about the team getting better, we also have to consider that part of that has to lie in the hope that Jrue, ET and now Lavoy Allen will improve. Star players don’t always just arrive. They have to come though for you too. If ET gets a jump shot over the summer, if Jrue gets consistency, if Lavoy continues his advances that came in the playoffs. Vuc had some moments too, and Spencer and Thad are still young. Plus the team continuing to gell, to make good decisions and improve their basketball iq. Sure a lot of ifs, but with a young team, you have upsides to consider.

  10. Brian
    7. July 2012 at 19:11

    Hawes isn’t a great player, but he’s a young 7-footer with some skills and thus has value. He’s a lot better than anything we would’ve gotten with the money had we let him walk. While it sucks to see the Sixers stuck in that 7-8 seed range, the best thing they can do right now is stockpile assets and try to swing a trade to land a star player (or hope that one blossoms from within the organization). So I don’t know what the fuss is about. Yeah, I’d rather have a number of centers over Hawes, but if anyone has a better plan of going about getting one than bringing back most of last year’s team and swinging a trade, I’d love to hear it.

    Personally I’d be more concerned about their draft selections. Nothing about Harkless and Moultrie suggest they’ll be much more than role players and neither one has a chance for much playing time as a rookie. Would’ve much preferred them drafted Terrence Jones or Jared Sullinger.

  11. Steve
    8. July 2012 at 02:01

    Oh, look, another ‘the sixers are terrible’ article. You really need to start writing more than one of three stories; it’s getting sad. It’s easy to predict gloom and doom when your best solution is ‘sign the guy that wins games’. This site is a joke and will continue to be so if you just use the same reactionary tales that we have all heard howard eskin mouth-poop over and over again for decades. It’s easy to hate when your solution is common sense. ‘The sixers would be better if they could attract talents like LeBron’. What insight!

  12. DERVIN
    9. July 2012 at 10:31

    Steve, for the author to write a different story, the Sixers need to do something different.
    If the Sixers behaved rationally, we could all agree they were planning something big. They are putting together a collection of assets ready to flip it to something big.

    But the Sixers haven’t really behaved rationally in quite some time. I’m not talking about moves that didn’t pan out, or a plan that didn’t work. This is a team that is operating without a plan.

    The Front Office doesn’t seem to ask the follow up questions.
    For example: Who do we think is the best player in the draft?
    Front Office Answer: Harkless
    This is a fine answer. But I think they never asked the follow up question: Can we actually play him?

    A rational team will see that despite all his talent and potential the Sixers have made strong committments to men who play the exact same position. The rational team would look at this situation and pass on Harkless, good player – but doesn’t fill a need.

    Granted, if the Sixers make a blockbuster trade, then I take back everything I said.

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