Cleveland Cavaliers’ management has made a number of questionable decisions in recent years, once again pulling off another puzzling move in the recent trade for Philadelphia 76ers center Spencer Hawes. In return, the 76ers received a pair of second-round draft picks to help them along their rebuilding effort, as well as acquiring small forward Earl Clark and backup center Henry Sims from Cleveland, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Spencer Hawes has had a career year for the lowly 76ers averaging 13 points and 8.5 rebounds. Hawes has already tied a career high with 19 double-doubles this year as well as hitting 81 three-pointers, more than double his previous career high of 40, so there is no doubt the Cavaliers are acquiring a legitimate NBA talent.
That being said, the issue at hand is not the player. Hawes is a very solid center that makes the Cleveland Cavaliers better today. However, the negatives once again outweigh the positives with the Cavs.
Hawes is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $6.6 million this year. His breakout season will likely land him a lot of money in the coming offseason, money that will more than likely not be coming out of the Cavaliers’ pockets. The deal is eerily similar to the one Cleveland made months ago with the Chicago Bulls to bring in All-Star forward Luol Deng.
With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, the Cleveland Cavaliers have started to exhibit a sort of buyer’s remorse and have been shopping Deng around the league knowing that the odds of bringing him back after this season are slim to none.
“Sources say the Cavs are concerned about being able to re-sign Deng this offseason, as he’ll be an unrestricted free agent for the first time,” said Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. “Several teams with cap space, including the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks, are expected to be interested in Deng.”
The urge to move Deng after recently doling out three future draft picks and Andrew Bynum to acquire him coupled is what makes the Cleveland Cavaliers’ trade for Spencer Hawes so puzzling. The two moves are counterintuitive to one another.
In a recent column by Yahoo! Sports’ very own Adrian Wojnarowski, it was documented how the franchise has lost its way from top to bottom. General manager Chris Grant was fired weeks ago after a number of bad trades and draft picks. The failure of the Deng trade to pay immediate dividends was likely the icing on the cake.
Franchise savior LeBron James infamously took his talents to South Beach to join the Miami Heat four years ago, leaving Cleveland to mop up the pieces. The new savior and recent All-Star MVP Kyrie Irving has enjoyed early success, but has been surrounded by a hodgepodge of overpaid role players and underperforming first-round picks. Things got so bad that early in the 2013-14 season, the team had to call a players’ only meeting that got incredibly heated, according to CBS Sports.
The team is in a state of flux and appears to be going all-in for a likely brief playoff run this season, if they can even make it there. The Deng trade, and now the Cleveland Cavaliers’ trade for Spencer Hawes is another head-scratcher. Past draft picks have been swings and misses, and recent trades have handcuffed a once bright future for the Cavaliers.
Editorial by Justin Hussong