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Early Predictions: Spencer Hawes

Spencer Hawes is the next Sixer to get the treatment in our Early Predictions series. Will he start? Can he defend? My guesses after the jump.
It appears as though we're on a streak of players with one valid skill. First Kapono, with his shooting and now Hawes with.......well, I guess his passing. He doesn't defend well, he doesn't rebound well, he doesn't score efficiently, from anywhere on the floor, he doesn't block shots, he doesn't force turnovers, he doesn't get to the foul line and he turns the ball over at a higher rate than any of the other bigs on the roster. But he can pass. His 4.0 passing rating from 82games.com puts him pretty much on par with Willie Green, which would never be considered a compliment unless we were stretching to find a marketable skill for a center.

  • Minutes: 1,600
  • Points/game: 9.0
  • Rebs/game: 4.9
  • Ast/game: 1.8
  • Steals/game: 0.4
  • Blocks/game: 0.9
  • TOV/game: 1.5
  • DNPCDs: 0
  • FG%: 47%
  • 3PT%: 30%
I'm sure I'll get ripped here because Hawes is the great white hope to certain people, but honestly, I think this is pretty much what we can expect from him (along with sub-par defense). It's certainly possible that Hawes will improve this season, but absolutely nothing from his first three seasons leads me to believe he's ever going to be a valuable NBA player, let alone a legitimate starter. I can sum up the arguments I've heard in favor of Hawes becoming a contributor in a few bullets,

  • "Bigs take a long time to develop." - True, it also takes longer for teams to admit they're never going to develop because size is at a premium. Most bigs who develop into something show some kind of life early in their career, even if they aren't close to a finished product. Hawes has not.
  • "He's saying all the right things and he's really focused. Added 20 lbs this summer." - He's been saying all the right things since he came into the league (except when he was complaining about not starting and refusing to go to summer league). Saying and doing are two different things.
  • "Collins will get the most out of him." - Somewhere, Kwame Brown is crying.
  • "I just have a feeling he's going to be good." - This is what it all comes down to, some unfounded blind faith that the guy will suddenly go from sucking to being good.
Anyway, my biggest fear isn't that Hawes continues to underwhelm this season. My biggest fear is that he shows minimal improvement, but enough for Ed Stefanski to think extending him is a bright idea.

1,600 minutes, exclusively at the five, seems about right to me. Not because he's good enough to deserve the minutes, but because Stefanski and Collins made such a big deal about how getting him was the true purpose of the Dalembert salary dump trade, they need to save face. That, and the fact that the rest of the front court isn't exactly stellar.

Your thoughts in the comments.