Atlanta Hawks player to step up No. 4) Onyeka Okongwu
The longest-tenured Hawks player on this list, Onyeka Okongwu is the player with arguably the most to offer in the absence of Collins. He is also entering a contract year as the team is yet to reach an agreement regarding his future at this point in the offseason. This could help Okongwu’s production whilst he is on the court.
However, this point aside, Okongwu has the potential to sign for a greater amount at the end of next season with the new CBA. He may be waiting to see what he could be offered as a restricted free agent before signing on the dotted line for any franchise.
His defensive ability is going to be coveted by many Eastern Conference contenders as he has shown that he has the ability to go with Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak is still the most dominant player in the East, so the path to The Finals leads through Giannis.
Okongwu has been developing a jump shot as well as other aspects of his game so don’t be surprised to see him playing alongside Clint Capela more often. He is not going to space the floor in the way that Collins used to but his defensive presence will have a much greater impact on winning and losing.