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Advanced Stats Analysis: Spencer Hawes' Value with the Clippers

Marc Roberts

Marc Roberts

Marc F Roberts writes about fantasy basketball for RotoWire. He has won no fantasy awards, but his mom thinks his writing is "fantastic".

Spencer Hawes has agreed to terms with the Los Angeles Clippers according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. Hawes was a valuable fantasy contributor last season despite playing for two different teams. His stats with the 76ers would have ranked as the 46th best fantasy season, while his stats with the Cavs would have ranked as the 57th best fantasy season.

Hawes by Team

MIN

FGA

FG%

FTA

FT%

3PM

REB

AST

STL

BLK

PTS

Auction Value

Fantasy Rank

Philadelphia

31.4

11.1

45%

1.9

78%

1.5

8.5

3.3

0.6

1.3

13.0

$17

46

Cleveland

29.8

11.0

47%

1.9

78%

1.7

7.7

2.4

0.5

1.0

13.5

$12

57


Regardless of the team, the majority of his fantasy value last season came from blocks, rebounds, and three-pointers, a rare combination. In total, Hawes finished as the 52nd best fantasy player last season, and had he joined a team as a starter this offseason, he would have had a good chance to rank similarly next season. However, on the Clippers, he will likely be the third big man in the rotation behind Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Let's take a look at how this move to the bench will affect Hawes' fantasy value next season.

Pace Impact

Hawes started last season with the 76ers who averaged 99.2 possessions per game, the highest pace in the league, and then finished the season with the Cavs whose pace (93.1) was below league average (93.9 per basketball-reference). The Clippers, under coach Doc Rivers, played above the league average pace at 95.9 possessions per game last season, right in between the 76ers and the Cavs.

Because Hawes played part of the season with a team that played at a higher pace than the Clippers, and part of the season with a team that played at a slower pace than the Clippers, adjusting Hawes' stats last season to the Clippers' pace of play has almost no impact on his fantasy value, changing his ranking from 52nd to 53rd overall.

Playing Time Impact

Hawes averaged 31 minutes per game, a number that seems unattainable in his new bench role. To get an idea of the level of playing time Hawes might see next season, take a look below at the reserve big men who averaged over 20 minutes per game last season (min 60 games):

Player

Tm

G

GS

MPG

Taj Gibson

CHI

82

8

28.7

Anderson Varejao

CLE

65

29

27.7

Enes Kanter

UTA

80

37

26.7

Markieff Morris

PHO

81

0

26.6

John Henson

MIL

70

23

26.5

Boris Diaw

SAS

79

24

25.0

Patrick Patterson

TOT

65

13

23.6

Amar'e Stoudemire

NYK

65

21

22.6

Andray Blatche

BRK

73

7

22.2

Timofey Mozgov

DEN

82

30

21.6

Jordan Hill

LAL

72

32

20.8

Anthony Tolliver

CHA

64

9

20.3

Kelly Olynyk

BOS

70

9

20.0


Considering Hawes' talent level, and the Clippers lack of depth at the position, Hawes seems set to rank among the top reserve big men in minutes per game next season. If we adjust his stats from last season for an average of 22 minutes per game, his ranking would change from 53rd to 136th. An adjustment to 26 minutes per game would have had him ranked at 96th. For my projection below, I used 24 minutes per game.

Projection For Next Season

If we combine Hawes' previous NBA seasons on a per-100-possessions basis to develop his projected stats, and then adjust that projection for the Clippers pace and an average playing time of 24 minutes per game (a method I explain in detail here), we get the following projection for Hawes next season:

2014-15 Projection

MIN

FGA

FG%

FTA

FT%

3PM

REB

AST

STL

BLK

PTS

Auction Value

Fantasy Rank

Spencer Hawes

24.0

8.5

46%

1.4

78%

1.2

6.3

2.3

0.4

0.9

10.1

$1

120


Even in limited minutes, Hawes projects to put up production that would be above replacement level in three-pointers (1.2 3PM), rebounds (6.3 rpg) and blocks (0.9 bpg), for an overall rank of 120th, good enough to be draftable in standard rotisserie leagues. However, because it's unlikely that he plays significantly more minutes than this, his upside is limited. I would recommend targeting players more upside than Hawes in the late rounds of fantasy drafts.

Do you disagree with my projection for Hawes? Would you like to know how he would rank at a different level of playing time or in a different fantasy league? Leave a comment below, or contact me on Twitter @MarcFRoberts.
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