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Hawks exercise 2023-24 option for Onyeka Okongwu

James Foglio profile picture
Updated 2 months ago on

3 min read

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Hawks exercise 2023-24 option for Onyeka Okongwu
USA Today Network
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The Atlanta Hawks have exercised Onyeka Okongwu’s $8,109,063 team option for the 2023-24 season. This is part of the center’s four-year, $26.4 million rookie scale contract he signed in 2020.

The Hawks’ deadline to pick up his 2023-24 team option was Oct. 31. Okongwu was selected sixth overall by the team in the 2020 NBA Draft.

According to some NBA betting sites, the Hawks have the 17th-best odds of winning a championship in 2023. However, a few sportsbooks are anticipating another playoff appearance. Compare the odds.

During his rookie 2020-21 season, in 50 appearances, the center averaged 4.6 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. Not to mention, he shot 64.4% from the field.

In July 2021, the USC product underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. The Hawks ruled him out for the following six months.

Last season, Okongwu logged 8.2 points, 5.9 boards, and 1.1 assists in 48 games played. He also shot 69% from the floor.

Hawks pick up the 2023-24 team option of Onyeka Okongwu

Compared to his fellow teammates on the Hawks, the 21-year-old finished 11th overall in PPG last season, third in rebounds, and tied for first with Clint Capela in blocks.

On December 17, 2021, the center made his season debut. In the Hawks’ 133-115 loss against the Denver Nuggets, Okongwu finished his performance with 10 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 assist in 14 minutes of action.

Moreover, in the Hawks’ 121-104 win over the Sacramento Kings on January 26, 2021, the second-year backup scored a career-high 18 points in 20 minutes played. He shot 6-of-9 (66.7%) from the field.

During the 2021-22 season, in one game played with the College Park Skyhawks, the team’s NBA G League affiliate, Okongwu closed out his outing with 10 points, 15 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals in 24 minutes of action.

When healthy with the Hawks, the center is an excellent rim protector and rebounder.

As for his NCAA statistics, in 28 starts with USC in the 2019-20 season, the freshman averaged 16.2 points, 8.6 boards, 1.1 assists, 1.2 steals, and 2.7 blocks. Plus, he shot 61.6% from the floor.

The Californian finished 12th in points (454) in the Pac-12, seventh in total rebounds (242), second in blocks (76), and first overall in true shooting percentage (64.5%). He was then selected to the All-Pac-12 First Team and Pac-12 All-Freshman Team.

While at Chino Hills High School, he was teammates with brothers Lonzo, LiAngelo, and LaMelo Ball. In 2019, the 6’9″ center ranked 19th on the RSCI Top 100 list.

Onyeka Okongwu is hoping to play his first full season in the NBA. He wants to stay healthy. In the 2021-22 season, the Hawks finished 43-39 (.524) and ninth in the Eastern Conference. They went on to lose in five games against the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs.

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James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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