The Atlanta Hawks will not have Gorgui Dieng’s services next season

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

The Atlanta Hawks had a season to forget in 2021-22. Just prior to the last offseason, the team announced that Onyeka Okongwu was going to be out for six months through shoulder surgery. This was going to be a fair impact on the Hawks rotations until he returned.

The Hawks then traded Bruno Fernando and Kris Dunn for Tristan Thompson. We thought that they had solved the Okongwu problem but they then flipped Thompson to the Sacramento Kings, receiving Delon Wright in return.

The Hawks eventually settled on Gorgui Dieng as their reserve big man but the fit never seemed right from the start. Dieng is a solid defender but offensively is more at home on the perimeter, preferring the pick and pop to the pick and roll. He was dubbed the Human Rocket Launcher by the Hawks commentary team such was his desire to shoot the 3-ball.

The Atlanta Hawks and Gorgui Dieng have parted ways.

Dieng has reportedly signed on with the San Antonio Spurs for a single season per Shams of The Athletic. This is a good outcome for both sides as the Hawks had no desire to bring Dieng back and the center still needed to find a team to continue his career.

The Senegalese center saved his best last season for a game that he played against the Minnesota Timberwolves. This was one of the only times that the Hawks saw the benefits of Dieng, most of the time he was out of the Hawks’ rotations, as he was just not a good offensive fit.

In fact, Dieng was such a bad fit for the Hawks that he was not able to get onto the court much during the Covid-19 crisis that the Hawks went through. This pretty much tells you that the Hawks were not confident in his ability to impact a game in a positive manner for the team.

Next. The Hawks officially sign AJ Griffin. dark

WIth Dieng gone, the Hawks are free to move onto a center that is going to be more beneficial for the Hawks’ style.