Hawks News: Onyeka Okongwu Injury Update Disappointing for Atlanta

Isaiah De Los Santos
The Atlanta Hawks got some bad news with the latest Onyeka Okongwu injury update.
The Atlanta Hawks got some bad news with the latest Onyeka Okongwu injury update. / Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Onyeka Okongwu became a key bench piece during the Atlanta Hawks' playoff run. The No. 6 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft emerged as a backup center to Clint Capela, and the rookie saw playing time in each of the Hawks' 18 playoff games.

It turns out Okongwu was playing through a shoulder injury late in the year that will now require surgery.

Onyeka Okongwu Injury

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Okongwu will be shelved for up to six months following surgery on a torn right labrum. The promising young big man is expected to make a full recovery, but he'll miss the first couple months of the 2021-22 campaign as a result.

This certainly isn't good news for the Hawks. Okongwu averaged 12.0 minutes as a rookie, putting up 4.6 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. His ability to relieve Capela when needed was an asset, especially in the playoffs, and now Atlanta may not see him suit up again until January 2022.

The Hawks will have to make backup center a priority in either the draft or free agency with Okongwu sidelined.

After their Eastern Conference Finals run this playoffs, Atlanta has +3500 odds to win the NBA title in 2022, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

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Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.