Don’t develop: Saddiq Bey
Whereas the Hawks might want to be proactive with Okongwu, regardless of which direction they decide to go, patience might be in order when it comes to forward Saddiq Bey whom they acquired at the trade deadline in February.
Bey, 24, averaged 11.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.4 assists and shot a clean 40% from deep in 25 appearances (seven starts) with the Hawks.
At 6-foot-7, 215 pounds, he too offers an intriguing frame for the position.
But it is also clearer what he is as a player than, say, Griffin, or even Jalen Johnson who figures to be Bey’s primary competition for the starting power forward job vacated by Collins. Bey should have the leg up over the third-year man, Johnson, as the former Detroit Piston started 164 out of 204 possible games before joining the Hawks. including all 82 games in 2021-22.
The Hawks have players with higher upside than Saddiq Bey
Bey is not a great defender despite his stature or billing coming out of college at Villanova, and even his three-point shooting could be a bit of a mirage. He shot 38% on three-pointers as a rookie.
But he shot just 34.6% for the Pistons in 2021-22 and was shooting 34.5% this past season before being traded.
Could the new locale return him to that peak, or beyond as he flashed last season? Sure.
The Hawks should let the season play out before making rash decisions, though, especially with all of the others they could be considering between now and even just the start of the season, let alone the trade deadline in February.