Hawks’ Onyeka Okongwu out for 6 months for shoulder surgery

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Onyeka Okongwu, the big man of Atlanta Hawks, has been out for about six months.

The Atlanta Hawks’ depth chart took a beating on Wednesday night as it was reported that the lottery pick Onyeka Okongwu will be out for about six months.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Okongwu has had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

Okongwu, the sixth overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, had to deal with this nagging injury during the Hawks’ run to the Eastern Conference Finals that began in May, necessitating this procedure.

Hawks’ Onyeka Okongwu out about six months

In his rookie season in Atlanta, Okongwu saw his role behind Clint Capela increase from the bench as the season progressed. In 50 appearances, he finished the year averaging 4.6 points and 3.3 rebounds in just 12.0 minutes per game, shooting 64.4 percent from the floor.

During 18 playoff games with the Hawks, the 20-year-old USC big man averaged 2.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in 9.2 minutes per game on 54.8 percent shooting.

While the raw numbers aren’t too impressive, Okongwu showed a lot of potential to support Capela and has a bright future in this competition. Since John Collins is a restricted free agent and Bruno Fernando, well, Bruno Fernando, the Hawks could use some extra help on the interior.

If Okongwu misses six months, that would put his return timeline around the end of January. The upcoming 2021-22 NBA season will begin on October 19, and the playoffs will begin in April. That means Okongwu is expected to miss about half of the season given his current timeline.

I hope Okongwu recover quickly without any setbacks for a young Hawks team on the rise.

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