A look at the Hawks centers ahead of training camp

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

The Hawks have set their roster heading into training camp. Though they will have a number of decisions to make when it comes to the depth of guards they keep to start the season, they will have fewer questions in the frontcourt.

Here is a look at the team’s centers before training camp begins.

Clint Capela (11.1 ppg, 11.9 tpg, 1.2 apg, 1.3 bpg, 61.3 FG%)

The 27-year-old center has given the Hawks plenty on defense as a reliable rim protector. Capela has the ability to be in the right place at the right time not only to block shots, but also to break up plays and generate more opportunities for the Hawks.

But it wasn’t only Capela’s ability to break up plays that gave the Hawks plenty of offensive opportunities. It was his work on the glass that played a role. Capela ranked fifth in the NBA in total rebounds per game and sixth in offensive rebounds per game.

ExploreMore AJC coverage of the Hawks

Offensively, Capela proved to be a top pick-and-roll target for the Hawks last season. He ranked 24th in the league in pick-and-roll possessions, averaging 2.6 per game. He ranked 17th in the league, scoring roughly 3.6 points per game in the pick-and-roll.

Though injuries hampered Capela still remains one of the top lob threats in the game. As ESPN noted in its Top 100 list this week, “Trae Young-to-Capela led the NBA in alley-oops last season.”

Onyeka Okongwu (8.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.3 bpg, 69 FG%)

The 21-year-old found his groove after he missed the first 28 games of the season.

Okongwu, though, can still provide the Hawks depth at both power forward and center but likely may spend much of his time backing up Capela.

Okongwu really began to come into his own last season and showed that he could give the Hawks another player in the frontcourt that they could rely on. He provided the Hawks with a solid player on the offensive boards, averaging 2.4 per game, which ranked him 30th in the league.

On top of that, Okongwu has shown the capability to guard players along the perimeter, which the Hawks will continue to capitalize on as they look to upgrade their defense. He also showed the ability to hold his own against players like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Karl-Anthony Towns and Joel Embiid.

As he continues to mature and grow into his game, the Hawks may be able to rely on Okongwu as a starter as they home in on their future at center.

Frank Kaminsky (10.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.4 apg, 54.5 FG%, 33.3 3FG%)

The Hawks signed Kaminsky to a one-year deal at the league minimum to provide the team with even versatility in the front court. Kaminsky can slide between power forward and center and could be someone that could be used to stretch the floor a little on offense.

Kaminsky shot 33% from beyond the 3-point arc, but a season ago he made 37% of his attempts from distance. His performance did give the Suns a boost in their run to the NBA Finals during the 2020-21 season.

The 29-year-old big man missed much of last season after undergoing a procedure on his right knee. ESPN reported that Kaminsky was fully recovered. So, the Hawks will have immediate depth in the frontcourt heading into training.