Atlanta Hawks: Three cheap free agents to replace Onyeka Okongwu

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks received the news that Onyeka Okongwu was going to miss the next six months. This is going to have a fairly significant impact on the Hawks rotations. Okongwu, despite averaging low numbers, was incredibly effective when he hit the court.

Okongwu bought huge levels of energy every time that he hit the floor. He had a defensive intensity which really helped the second unit, especially as Danilo Gallinari and Lou Williams are not known for their defensive prowess.

Okongwu has shown the ability to grow which is all that you can ask of a rookie. He showed during college that he was a tremendous finisher in the pick and roll. When the Hawks traded Rajon Rondo to the Clippers, they received Lou Williams, one of the best exponents of this skill in return. A connection was formed and the Hawks were able to keep Okongwu on the floor longer.

The Atlanta Hawks need to replace Onyeka Okongwu’s production

The rookie was an extremely important member of the Hawks rotation last season. In fact, he was one of the players who stepped up when John Collins went down with his ankle injury and the team continued to win. The rookie grew so much in that time that he was able to carve out more minutes for himself towards the end of the season.

With the possibility of John Collins not returning next season, Okongwu was going to be a key player for the Hawks. As a result, they need to sign a free-agent center at a low cost until Okongwu returns from his layoff.