7. Onyeka Okongwu
Teams are interested in Okongwu, and the Hawks have an important decision to make this summer. The 22-year-old played just 23.1 minutes per game last season as he is stuck behind Clint Capela at the five, but he is entering the final year of his contract. Okongwu makes $8.1 million next season. He will want a raise in free agency, but the Hawks cannot afford to be paying $40 million to their two centers.
Do they trade Capela and open up more minutes for the 22-year-old or ship out Okongwu before having to reward him with a new contract next summer? It is not an easy decision. Capela is six years older and can become an unrestricted free agent in 2025. Who do the Hawks lock up long-term as their starting center?
Neither is an option. Atlanta is rumored to be interested (subscription required) in Dereck Lively in the 2023 NBA Draft. They could select him and try to trade both Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu over the next year. The Hawks have options, but they need to make a decision fast and run with it.
Okongwu wants more playing time and if the Atlanta Hawks do not want to give it to him, now is the time to move on from the talented 22-year-old.