Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Atlanta Hawks pick up team options on Onyeka Okongwu, Jalen Johnson

2022-23 NBA Globals Games All Access - Atlanta Hawks All Access Practice

ABU DHABI, UAE - OCTOBER 3: Onyeka Okongwu #17 of the Atlanta Hawks dribbles the ball during an all access team practice as part of 2022 NBA Global Games Abu Dhabi at NYU on October 3, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, The United Arab Emirates. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Atlanta made a pair of moves on Tuesday that should come as no surprise. The Hawks picked up the fourth-year option on Onyeka Okongwu and the third-year option on Jalen Johnson, according to reports from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim Bontemps.

The Hawks drafted Okongwu with the No. 6 pick in the 2020 draft, but he hasn’t given them their return on investment yet. He’s only played 98 games through two seasons and has been the backup behind Clint Capela when he’s healthy. Still, he averaged 8.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game while shooting 69% from the floor last season. He’s shown flashes to be their center of the future, but he won’t get the opportunity as long as Capela is around.

Jalen Johnson was the 20th overall pick in the 2021 draft, and he spent most of his rookie year playing for the College Park Skyhawks. However, Atlanta is thinner at power forward with Danilo Gallinari gone, and head coach Nate McMillan has already said that Johnson will play a larger role this season. He averaged 2.4 points and 1.2 rebounds in just 5.5 minutes per game last season.

Atlanta has high expectations this season after acquiring Dejounte Murray over the summer. Locking up their young core for as long as possible will help keep their focus on contending for the next few seasons.