Atlanta Hawks: It is unlikely that Bruno Fernando will be on the team next season

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

As has been discussed wince prior to the All-Star break, the Atlanta Hawks are a team that has been struck by injury. As the injuries piled up, the previous head coach Lloyd Pierce started to alternate games between Bruno Fernando and rookie Onyeka Okongwu.

This did not help either player and at the time I believed that the Hawks were missing the opportunity to develop the sixth pick in the 2020 draft, Okongwu. The Hawks then moved on from Pierce and installed Nate McMillan as the interim head coach.

McMillan wasted no time, deciding that the team would be better off with the talents of Okongwu as the back pivot position and started to develop the rookie. Then the Hawks traded for Lou Williams and he developed immediate chemistry in the pick and roll with Okongwu.

The Atlanta Hawks will be looking to find more talent.

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With Okongwu developing nicely, coach McMillan has allowed him to spend more time on the court with the second unit. This means that Fernando has slipped down to the bench into the third unit, getting time with Skylar Mays and Nathan Knight, the teams’ two-way players.

He was not even able to get much court time when John Collins was injured. The problem is that Fernando has a definite lack of talent on the offensive end, which is one of the big differences between Fernando and the rest of the big man rotation on the team.

Clint Capela is hard to stop close to the hoop and gets the most offensive rebounds in the NBA. Okongwu thrives in the pick and roll, and Knight has shown that he has range. This points to the Hawks looking at the draft, trade, or free agency to find another big man who can do a little more than Fernando offensively.

Next. Why Bruno Fernando has dropped out of the rotation. dark

While Fernando has one year left on his deal, the Hawks are going to want to spend their cap space on players who are going to contribute. Fernando is probably going to be included in a trade to help make up salaries as the Hawks go all-in for a championship push next season, especially if they can keep Collins.