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Breaking Down the Spencer Hawes Trade

The Cleveland Cavaliers traded for Spencer Hawes on Thursday. Here’s why it works for both them and Philadelphia.

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The Philadelphia 76ers have agreed to send center Spencer Hawes to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Earl Clark, Henry Simms and a couple of second-round draft picks. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports first reported the trade, while Sam Amico of Fox Sports followed up details of the deal.

For the Sixers, this trade had to happen for a few reasons. First and foremost, since Hawes will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, there was a strong possibility that he would have left for greener pastures anyway in what will be his eighth NBA season in 2014-2015. His age doesn’t really fit Philadelphia’s rebuilding plan, and since he’s having a career year, averaging 13.0 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 3.3 APG, and 1.3 BPG, all while shooting almost 40% from deep, he’s certainly priced himself out of the opportunity to remain with the Sixers.

So, rather than just getting cap space in the wake of his inevitable offseason departure, Philadelphia now reins in a couple of draft picks and a player in Clark whose next-year salary is not fully guaranteed. Financially, they’re not in too different a situation than they would have been had they kept Hawes, but they end up with a couple of draft picks for their troubles.

Cleveland, meanwhile, is in the midst of a five-game win streak and is starting to find some kind of winning form. Hawes definitely helps them in the frontcourt, which has been pretty thin since Andrew Bynum was hurt, and Anderson Varejao’s injury history sort of made it necessary to bring in another big body, as well. Also, since Hawes is an expiring deal, he won’t dip into the team’s cap space this summer, meaning they can still chase after all the former superstar Cavaliers they want when free agency hits this July.

Clark became expendable the moment Luol Deng was acquired, so Cleveland is not losing an integral part of their rotation, though Clark has had some promising moments this year. He had only played a total of 19 minutes during Cleveland’s five-game winning streak, however, so the only real assets the Cavs lose out on are a couple of second-rounders, which isn’t bad for a players of Hawes’ quality.

Keep your eyes on the Basketball Insiders Trade Deadline Diary for all the most recent updates, because there are certainly more trades to come before the 3:00 p.m. ET deadline later on Thursday.

Joel Brigham is a senior writer for Basketball Insiders, covering the Central Division and fantasy basketball.

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