We hardly knew ye: Hawes gone to NBA
Spencer Hawes indeed was one-and-done at Washington. But while that was the way almost everyone saw it playing out on the October 2005 day...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Spencer Hawes indeed was one-and-done at Washington.
But while that was the way almost everyone saw it playing out on the October 2005 day he committed to become a Husky, Hawes insisted his thought process was never that cut-and-dried.
"That might have been the perception, but it wasn't necessarily the reality," said Hawes, a Seattle Prep graduate who might have jumped to the NBA from high school if not for new rules requiring at least a one-year stay in college.
Perception and reality, however, finally merged Monday when Hawes announced he was leaving UW after one season to stay in the NBA Draft.
"I took my time making the decision," he said. "I went through all the pros and cons in my head, writing it down time after time. At the end of the day, based on the feedback I received and trusting my gut instinct, I think it will be the best decision for me."
Hawes announced in April he would explore his NBA options. In the interim, he attended the NBA Pre-Draft Camp and worked out for five teams, a process that appeared to solidify that he will be taken somewhere between No. 7 and No. 12 (he said he also expects to work out now for Atlanta).
He has been invited to attend the NBA Draft in New York on June 28, an honor usually reserved for those expected to go in the lottery.
Hawes, who said he has yet to hire an agent, is the third underclassmen with state ties to stay in the draft. The others are Eastern Washington's Rodney Stuckey of Kentwood High and Arizona's Marcus Williams of Roosevelt High.
Hawes, listed at 7 feet but measuring 6-10 ½ at the pre-draft camp, becomes the first player to leave UW for the NBA after attending school for just one season. Martell Webster, Hawes' teammate at Seattle Prep, signed with UW in 2004 but went straight to the pros when that was still allowed.
Hawes leaves UW with a mixed legacy.
He set several school freshman records, including most points (461) and blocks (54). He also led the team in scoring at 14.9 points per game and was named to the Pac-10 all-freshman team.
But he came to UW with huge expectations as part of a recruiting class that some expected could carry the Huskies deep into the NCAA tournament. Instead, Washington didn't even qualify for the NIT, finishing 19-12 overall and 8-10 and in seventh place in the Pac-10.
His quick departure had some fans angry Monday, some questioning on message boards and talk shows whether recruiting him had been worth it.
Hawes said UW's disappointing season is something "that still eats at me now and I think it will continue to for the rest of my life. But when it came down to it, I made the best decision for me and my situation and I can't look back and focus on what could have been or would have been."
If drafted where expected, Hawes likely will sign a two-year guaranteed contract worth roughly $4 million with options for two more years.
As for fan reaction, Hawes said, "I'm not mad at them. I understand their feelings. But it's my decision and my lifelong dream."
UW coach Lorenzo Romar said he had no regrets about bringing in Hawes for just a season, saying "it would be sad" if people looked at Hawes' UW tenure as a disappointment. "It was unfortunate we didn't have more of a veteran team to play around Spencer," Romar said.
Jon Brockman, Hawes' closest friend on the team, said he thought Hawes was truly conflicted.
"I think he wants to do both, but he knows he can't do that," Brockman said. "I'm proud of him. That's the dream and the goal of all of us. He's got his player's card now."
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or email@example.com
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.