Posted by: Jake Fischer
03/18/13 10:02 am EST

Spencer Mason Hawes.  A 7’1, 245 pound center from the University of Washington.

A beard.  A mullet.  An oaf.  A streaky shooter.

An anomaly.

Who really is this guy?

Does he shoot threes or does he score inside?  Does he set screens and roll to the basket, or does he slip screens and shoot jumpers?

Hawes came to the Philadelphia 76ers as a 22-year-old potential-filled big man from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Sammy Dalembert.  At the time, Hawes was sold to Philadunkia nation as the center of the future and a building block for this young roster.  But, fast forward to today and Sixers fans know what Hawes is: an inconsistent NBA player who probably does not deserve a $6.5 million annual salary.

But, then he plays games like he did against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night that makes one wonder, ‘How good could Hawes actually be?’

Consider for a minute that the Sixers starting center put up 18 points, 16 rebounds, 8 assists and 7 blocks against a tough and talented Pacers front line.  We’ve seen glimpses of his potential before, but this time Spencer produced those staggering numbers against a much respected opposing front-court of Roy Hibbert, David West, Tyler Hansbrough and, at times, Paul George.

Saturday wasn’t the only game that Hawes has impressed in, recently. He’s racked in double-doubles in five of the team’s last 10 games and he’s averaging 13.2 points and 9.5 rebounds over those contests.  Aren’t those the numbers of a viable starting center in the National Basketball Association?

But then there are the bad games from Hawes.  Like when he went scoreless and grabbed just 4 rebounds against Golden State and put up just 6 points and 5 rebounds against Miami — both disappointing performances came in that same 10 game stretch.  And, who can forget the wide-open bunny that Hawes missed during the waning moments of the Sixers loss to Miami?

This season has been overshadowed by a different 7-1 center who hasn’t played in a single game this season for the 76ers.  But, if Hawes was able to consistently average the 15 points and 10 rebounds per game that he’s basically putting up in March, this team and Sixer fans might not be focusing so much on Bynum.  Instead the story might be: the Sixers are competing for a playoff spot even without Bynum!

Moving forward, Jure Holiday and Thad Young are clearly the cornerstones for this franchise to build on.  Hawes has one year left on a contract that is frequently viewed as ridiculous, so his future here in Philly is very much up in the air. 

Maybe he’s just starting to realize that he will need to produce like this to receive another contract of his current one’s stature.  Maybe he’s just finally realizing his potential.  But, Most likely, Hawes will probably keep us guessing and thinking, “What the hell.” when we see his final box scores every night.


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17 Responses to “WHAT THE HAWES ?!?”

  1. Adam
    18. March 2013 at 10:09

    Thad young is not a cornerstone.

    Hes a role player playing over his head on a bad team

  2. Steve Toll
    18. March 2013 at 12:03


    Please explain in detail about Thad being a role player.

    Im interested in hearing your thoughts because not only are you wrong, I don’t think you have the ability to explain yourself

  3. CG
    18. March 2013 at 12:23

    If he consistently put up 15 and 10 he would still be a detriment to the team’s success because he plays no defense, he blocks shots occasionally however on plays that he doesn’t block shots he gets abused and man handled by the opposing team’s players.

    Adam, Thad has posted better than an 18 PER the past 3 seasons and his defense has consistently gotten better despite playing against opposing team’s best players this season. He’s getting more minutes now and if you watch games you can tell that he is improving his rebounding as well, nearly double digit the past 2 months which regardless of the team is impressive. He’s also only 24, he could be a building block if he became a more consistent facet of our offense.

  4. Wang
    18. March 2013 at 12:27

    Supposedly, the cornerstones should be Jrue and ET, who is of course a letdown so far. Thad has been peaked, but is a tremendous player still

    As for as Hawes, he can be consistent and so much better in a different system and under the condition that he is more focused.

    Good things about Spencer is he can make play and shoot long-range. Sometimes he reminds me of the best of Brad Miller. Don’t forget he was the second best Center coming out of that draft class, if you consider Al Horford a PF, which he was.

  5. Alex Hootan
    18. March 2013 at 13:18

    Haws is an amazing Puzzle as Jake explains it here.
    But why? One day he is play like a player with a very high IQ, another game, he is just awful. Is it due to DC’s coaching style? I doubt it!! Should the team keep him as a backup center that once in a while has a great game or just get rid of him? I can see some other team paying him in the 4 to 5 Mil range.

  6. Adam
    18. March 2013 at 14:20

    Thad is a role player. He cant defend the perimeter or the post. Hes a very good help defender which is why the defense as a whole is better with him on the floor. Hes a below average rebounder on a terrible rebounding team ( which inflates hos currently average rebounding numbers).

    If thad was a good nba starter the sixers would have more to show for it in the win column.

    Thad has skills, no doubt, but theyre expendable skills. Give me udonis haslem or kennith faried at half the price any day…. Especially if im building a team for the future, thad should be moved for cap space and assets if he has any value around the league.

  7. Steve Toll
    18. March 2013 at 14:44


    15 and 10 with 1.5 blks would get Hawes a bigget payday than Jrue just got this offseason.

    You are right about Thad.

    Alex Hootan,
    Hawes is signed through next year and will get a bigger deal than he did this past offseason.

  8. Jake Fischer
    18. March 2013 at 15:20


    First off, thanks for reading!

    Thad is a cornerstone of a franchise. If an NBA player makes $8+ million and puts up 15 and 8, that’s a cornerstone. Ideally, franchises have 3 cornerstone players. That’s been the winning formula for decades. This “super team” concept of today has been used since Bill Russell’s heyday. Thad can be the third cornerstone of a franchise. And he can defend both on the perimeter and in the post. The Pacers game is a great example of how he defended David West (inside) and, at times, Paul George (outside). Udonis Haslem is not better than Thad right now and Kenneth Faried will receive the exact same money if not WAAAY MORE once his rookie deal is up.

    Next, Hawes is clearly a backup center until he can prove a successful level of consistency. 15 and 10 from a center is deserving of some serious cash, but a player has to prove that he’s worthy of it. As of now, I believe Hawes would be offered around $3-4 million.

  9. Rob Y
    18. March 2013 at 15:56

    He’s BACK!

    Haha who is comparing Thad to Udonis/Faried? Faried is a potential All-Star and Thad is the man while Udonis used to be pretty good I guess when he won the ‘ship w/ the Heat in ’06?

    I am here because I am very curious about what the chances the Sixers re-sign Bynum this offseason. If I could get like 5-6 good guesses (in % terms, and don’t say 100% or 0%, be logical) that would be great. We average those % numbers out among some knowledge Sixers writers and we could have a good feel of what we are expecting. Personally, I haven’t been following Bynum’s status too much but if I had to place a number on it, I’d say he’s about 40% to re-sign (I feel this number can be way lower and the highest % I would estimate for Bynum would be like 55% to resign). Thanks, I think this should be the best discussion there is out there on chances Bynum resigns (not from my end, but I’m hoping to start a good debate). Werd.

    I have to do it as much as I don’t want to acknowledge you Steve but you’re just too fun! :

    Don’t hate me! I agreed with you Thad > Jrue!!! I also agree Moultrie is never going to be a good player in this league even though I previously stated we should give him minutes because Lavoy is garbage which it appears I am correct about. Moultrie’s ceiling is like Maresse Speights or something, idk (who’s doing pretty good actually).

    Other than that, Jrue startin to pick it up again, Hawes prob sucks, ET still sucks but I think he has some hope, why are we bothering w/ Jenkins/Pargo/Wilkins (Wilkins could have the tiniest bit of value for a trade maybe which could be solid). Wright getting back to form, Thad is the man, and I wouldn’t mind having DC come back next year.

    Awww yea Sixers.

  10. Adam
    18. March 2013 at 17:42

    Jake, youre wrong about thad. Putting up numbers on a bad team is what thads doing. He is no more a cornerstone for the sixers than udonis haslem is for the heat.

    On any great team thad is an energy role player.

    This sixers team is empty of assets, and if thad can be moved as an asset then he should be moved. Every contending team has 3 (yes 3!) players who are significantly better than thaddeous…. That should tell u something.

  11. Wang
    18. March 2013 at 17:52


    As per you said, we basically expressed the same sentiment about Thad, I wholeheartedly agree with you. It is just that people have different definition of “cornerstone.” I believe most people still prefer to call the best player or second player on a team “cornerstone.” Yet I agree with you that 3 cornerstones are the concept teams are building upon.

    Anyway, I think a talent of Thad should ideally be the third best player on a championship contender, as for now he is the second best player, which is why this team is sinking.

    Hopefully, the kingpin will be back soon no matter who he will be…

  12. Jake Fischer
    18. March 2013 at 18:48

    Rob Y,

    It’s 100%. It’s ridiculous but this team is 100% resigning Bynum and signing him to a 5-year max. They are all in on him. 100% in on him and his knees.

  13. Adam
    18. March 2013 at 18:59

    Thad is a 4-6th best player on a championship level team.

  14. josh
    19. March 2013 at 10:18

    adam go look at the roughly 8 title contenders 3rd best players and they are averaging about the same numbers as thad is which is 15ppg-7rpg. clearly this is just looking at top 2-3 basic categories points rebounds and assists if you want me to get into more like blocks steals defense and offense rating I will

    ibaka 13ppg-8rpg
    ginobili 12ppg-3rpg-4apg
    take your pick from the knicks of
    felton 14ppg-5apg
    chandler 10ppg-11rpg
    stoudemire 14ppg-5rpg
    bosh 16ppg-6rpg
    Crawford 16ppg-2apg
    take your pick from the pacers of
    hill 14ppg-4apg
    hibbert 10pg-8rpg
    iguodala 12ppg-5apg-5rpg
    Johnson 16ppg-3rpg-3apg

    compare all of these to thad and he is putting up either better or close to the same numbers as these players and yes even though he is the second option right now in this team he gets the same amount of touches as a third option would on other teams

  15. Adam
    19. March 2013 at 20:33

    Numbers be damned, every single one of those guys is a better basketball player than thad young.

    Also, pacers, nugs, and knicks are not title contenders.

  16. josh
    20. March 2013 at 00:55

    lol numbers be damned. toll is prob laughing his ass off that you said that and calling you dumb for saying that. also you just made your argument very weak with that statement because the numbers players put up is what determines how high of an option they are in the offense you don’t see shane battie taking more shots than LeBron or wade because the coach like him more.

    btw if the pacers nugs and knicks aren’t title contenders which they are bc they have a chance of beating the top teams in their conference then you also gota include the nets as well because they are worse than all 3 of those teams

  17. Adam
    21. March 2013 at 12:35

    Its not all about numbers, thad plays as a 2nd option on a terrible team. Obviously the numbers will look good, hes an option on a team with little options. Lol. And the terribleness of the roster means that advanced stats will obviously make the team be better with him on the floor vs without him. Hes a good player. Hes not an all star, hes not an integral piece to a title team… Hes a replaceable energy role player… A quality 4th guy behind a teams top 3 guys.

    And the nets arent title contenders either… Not a single team outside of the spurs, heat, clippers, thunder and lakers have a shot at winning the title this year. And on any of those teams thad is a 4-5th best player.

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