Jahlil Okafor was released by the Brooklyn Nets recently which is a massive fall from grace for the former third pick in the 2015 NBA draft. Okafor was named to the All-Rookie team in 2015-16 but struggled from then on, playing with four franchises in his six-year career, so should the Atlanta Hawks be interested?
Earlier this month he was traded by the Detroit Pistons with Sekou Doumbouya to the Brooklyn Nets for DeAndre Jordan and four future second-round picks. Less than a week after the trade, Shams Charania of The Athletic announced that the Nets had waived Okafor.
The Hawks signed Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot to a one-year non-guaranteed deal earlier in the month meaning that they still have the option of signing another player. Let’s take a look and see if Okafor would be a good fit or even if he should be signed to a training camp deal
Would the Atlanta Hawks and Jahlil Okafor be a good fit?
The Hawks are down a big man for the start of the season. The impact of having Onyeka Okongwu miss the first three months of the season due to recovering from shoulder surgery has been lessened by the signing of Gorgui Dieng.
So the question remains, should the Hawks sign Okafor to any form of contract for next season? While Okafor is talented offensively, when the ball goes into him it very rarely comes out. Throughout his career, Okafor has only averaged 0.9 assists per game.
This is the opposite of the way that the Hawks are trying to play, given that ball movement and creating for others is the way that Trae Young impacts the game. If he has a player who is easily defended because the opposition knows that they are going to shoot, this limits the rest of the team’s effectiveness.
However, giving Clint Capela, Dieng, and John Collins an offensive-minded big man in training camp to battle against could help them throughout the season. Signing him to a non-guaranteed deal or an exhibit-10 deal could be beneficial for the Hawks’ long term.