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Blazers, Heat among teams pursuing Spencer Hawes

By James Herbert | NBA writer

Spencer Hawes is a free agent, and teams want him.
Spencer Hawes is a free agent, and teams want him. (USATSI)

More Offseason Analysis: Coaching changes, news | Free Agency | Draft

Spencer Hawes is a popular free-agent target, as teams around the league are desperate for big man who can stretch the floor, via CBSSports.com's Ken Berger:

The Heat also have Spencer Hawes on their radar, but league sources confirmed that the Portland Trail Blazers secured the first meeting with the free-agent center in Los Angeles early Tuesday. Blazers coach Terry Stotts, a creative offensive tactician, holds strong pull with Hawes.

It's interesting that Portland is making such a strong pitch, as its biggest issue last season was getting stops and that's just not a need Hawes would address. In addition to the Blazers and Heat, the Clippers, Rockets and Mavericks are also interested in him, according to ESPN's Marc Stein, who adds that the Cavaliers would like to have him back.

Hawes averaged 13.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game last year in a season split between Philadelphia and Cleveland. He shot 46 percent from the field and made 41 percent of his three-point attempts.

The long-range accuracy is huge, as many teams believe someone will his skillset could be the missing piece of the puzzle. The seven-year veteran isn't a game changer, but he can open up the floor with his shooting. Defense is a problem because he's slow-footed, but unlike other stretch bigs, he can rebound.

Is he at the point of his career where he's willing to give a contender a discount? He made $6.6 million last season, and it's unlikely that teams like the Heat or the Clippers would be able to swing something like that. According to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times, he is seeking $8 million annually. That's ... a lot.

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