Atlanta Hawks: Grading the rookie season of Onyeka Okongwu

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /
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Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

Atlanta Hawks contract and season grades for Onyeka Okongwu

Contract Grade

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Okongwu just completed the first year of his rookie-scale contract. As a high draft pick, Okongwu was paid $5.8 million for this season. While he did not perform to the level of others who are paid a similar amount, he did what a rookie needs to do, he learned and he grew.

The Hawks have another three years to develop the youngster, or, if the right trade package comes along, his contract is a good amount to help a deal along. However, it is going to take a really good deal to pry Okongwu out of the Hawks’ hands, they seem to have high hopes for him.

Contract grade – B

Season Grade

As mentioned earlier, Okongwu missed a good portion of the first half of his rookie season. However, thanks to the coaching of Nate McMillan, the second half of his rookie season was full of development and growth opportunities.

He said all the right things when Lloyd Pierce was the coach and then did all the right things when McMillan took over. He also recognized the opportunity to get more court time when Williams came to the team and grew into a key member of the second unit.

Season grade – B

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