Atlanta Hawks: 3 keys to reaching the 2022 NBA Finals

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
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Atlanta Hawks keys to reaching the 2022 NBA Finals #2: An upgrade at center could push this group over the top

Capela’s career arc in Atlanta is following a similar one as his time in Houston. He was a valuable part of what they did with his interior defense, rebounding (he led the league this season), and rim-running abilities. But his style of play ran its course there too, even if they took it to the extreme with their ultra small-ball approach.

The Hawks inability to score in the paint in the Conference Finals — they were outscored by an average of 16 points — became more pronounced as the series wore on.

They also got comparable production from rookie Onyeka Okongwu in the postseason.

One of the hottest names on the trade market is going to be Indiana Pacers big man, Myles Turner who led the league in blocks per game. He has two years left on a team-friendly deal but many around the league believe Indiana must move him to get the most out of Domantas Sabonis.

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This is where the Hawks should swoop in. There is the internal issue of Collins’ contract. Travis Schlenk spoke glowingly about Collins and mentioned wanting to retain his services. But Atlanta could find themselves outbid by a team willing to offer more than they want to invest in a player whose historical offensive prowess might be offset by his lack of defensive resistance.

Maybe an offseason spent trying to bulk up fixes that issue. Or perhaps the Hawks pivot and try offering one of their many wings. Indiana might need a Huerter or Hunter.

There are murmurs from fans about Karl-Anthony Towns and even Zion Williamson. And while they would obviously be tremendous gets, the amount of compensation it would take to get either would likely negate their additions.

This isn’t to say you’re looking to give away pieces from a roster that went to a Conference Finals. And Capela and Collis were durable if nothing else this season.

That leads us to the most important ability, availability.