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Nader: Okongwu a foundational piece of Hawks

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Jonas Nader talks through why he thinks Onyeka Okongwu can be a fantasy-viable player this year and for years to come.

Video Transcript

JONAS NADER: If I was Clint Capela, I'd be pretty nervous right now. Onyeka Okongwu has been turning heads in Atlanta, putting together some impressive defensive displays against the likes of Julius Randle, Giannis, and Karl-Anthony Towns. Giannis barely saw the rim when Onyeka was on the court, and the second-year center had a block party versus Towns with five total swats. Onyeka leads the Hawks in defensive rating, and he's one of the main reasons why they've turned their season around.

It's also pretty notable that Coach Nate McMillan had to go out of his way to tell reporters that Capela was still his starting center. It's important to note that Capela can't be traded this season because of his recent contract extension, but I still think Onyeka can have some fantasy value off the bench and maybe even force a timeshare.

That being said, I don't think the Hawks will bench Capela, even though he's been a step slow or maybe two this season, because that would decrease their leverage in trade talks this summer. What I'm trying to say is if I was a betting man, I would bank on Onyeka being the second most important Atlanta Hawk for the next decade behind Trae Young.