In their latest edition of “1 Free Agent Every NBA Team Can Still Sign”, Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey has a pretty interesting name for the Hawks: former Cleveland Cavalier Isaiah Hartenstein.
Cavaliers center Isaiah Hartenstein has declined his $1.8 million player option for 2021-22 season and will become a free agent, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Hartenstein averaged 8.3 points and six rebounds to finish season in Cleveland.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 23, 2021
Hartenstein is only 20 years old, and Bailey thinks that he’s a good fit to replace Onyeka Okongwu while he misses time with injury:
With Onyeka Okongwu out for the beginning of the 2021-22 season following shoulder surgery, the Atlanta Hawks could use another center at the back of the rotation.
John Collins could take some minutes there, and Gorgui Dieng is an underrated pickup as the primary backup, but Hartenstein is a young, bouncy Clint Capela facsimile.
Last season, the 23-year-old averaged 15.6 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.6 blocks and 1.3 steals per 75 possessions.
Again, he’d probably be no higher than the third center on the depth chart prior to Okongwu’s return, but that kind of production is worth a flier.
I agree with Bailey, and this seems like a Travis Schlenk-esque pickup. As Chase discussed this week, the Hawks may not be done in free agency, and they’re targeting a big. While I would be up for Hartenstein, I’m in favor of a guy like Harry Giles or Paul Millsap to fill that void as well. Regardless, I trust Travis Schlenk’s judgement, and I’m sure whatever move he makes will be a good one.