Taking a look at the current roster, Clint Capela jumps out as a potentially similar John Collins situation. This is for a few different reasons though. Capela, entering his tenth year, is a premier rebounder in today’s league. He’s served Atlanta as a more than serviceable center since the 2021 season, but it might be time to move on from him now instead of waiting the couple of years they did with Collins.
There are two driver incentives for this. First, he is most likely just past his peak value for his career. At 29 years old, he is still in his prime years and under contract for the next two seasons at around $23 million annually. There are more than a few teams out there that feel they are one piece away and could use a reliable big to flesh out their rotation.
Capela’s overall value and salary make the second incentive all the more obvious. Onyeka Okongwu has shown he can provide quality center play for this Atlanta Hawks team and is still on his rookie contract at only $8 million for this year before entering restricted free agency next summer. The Hawks would be wise to give the starting minutes to Okongwu, and extend him now or after the 2024 season concludes. Okongwu fits with their current young core and deserves the starting spot provided the team gets good value back for Capela, which can hopefully start to restock their future draft capital that will be going to San Antonio for the immediate future. It’s a win-win.