The Atlanta Hawks should sign Jock Landale as their backup big man

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks have only one real hole in their roster for next season after they traded for Delon Wright after the 2021 NBA draft. They also fixed their only failed offseason move from prior to the 2021-22 season by sending Kris Dunn away in this trade.

So this means the only hole on the roster at the moment is the backup center role. thanks to Onyeka Okongwu missing the next six months due to shoulder surgery.  The impact of this has the potential to put the Hawks season on the back foot.

The Hawks have a number of options that they could use in this situation. They could try and sign a cheap free agent who has experience in the league. Another option is that they could try and utilize the newly drafted Jalen Johnson, but that could be a bit much to ask of the rookie.

The Atlanta Hawks could look at Australia’s Jock Landale

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A third option is to go a little left of center and look for a talented player as a replacement who has not been tested in the NBA like Jock Landale. The Australian has been a solid player in Europe before coming home to be the Finals MVP in the NBL championship-winning team, Melbourne United.

He is currently playing for the Australian National Team in the Olympics. He has stepped into the role of starting center since the neck injury sustained by Aron Baynes. He is actually playing better than Baynes, including showing his range, hitting from deep last game.

Landale is a 6’11” stretch five who has played summer league basketball before. He signed with the Hawks for the 2018 summer league a played for the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2019 summer league so can play at that level at the very least.

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He is not afraid to take on the big moments and would be a really solid addition to the Hawks bench. Just to make it into the NBA would mean that Landale would sign at close to the minimum which would help the Hawks out with their potential salary cap issues over the coming seasons.