Rockets Trade For Hawks’ Onyeka Okongwu In New Proposal

Onyeka Okongwu, Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

Around the NBA, fans are trying not to overreact to preseason. For some fans, that’s easier than it is for others. For example, Houston Rockets fans are struggling. After years of suffering, this looks like a different team. How can their fans not overreact? 

First, they decimated the Indiana Pacers. Still, Tyrese Haliburton and Myles Turner were absent – this was a preseason game. More recently, the Rockets destroyed the New Orleans Pelicans. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram were on the floor. Let’s try not to overreact here. 

Still, this is a different Rockets team. How could it not be? The Rockets hired Ime Udoka and signed Fred VanVleet, Dillon Brooks, and others. They should be a different team. The Rockets are leaning into a defensive identity. They could use a better defensive big man in their rotation. How about Onyeka Okongwu of the Atlanta Hawks? 

Onyeka Okongwu, Atlanta Hawks, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Trade Proposal 

Atlanta Hawks Receive: F Jae’Sean Tate, 2025 First-Round Pick (Swap – HOU or BKN) 

Houston Rockets Receive: F/C Onyeka Okongwu 

If the Rockets make significant strides this season, it will invite broader conversations. We’ll have to talk about “tanking.” Is it possible that it’s a viable strategy? 

Well, we wouldn’t draw that conclusion based on one season. The Rockets may flirt with play-in contention this season, but that isn’t their end goal. The end goal is to build an NBA champion. If the Rockets win the title this year, we’ll certainly need to have broader conversations like “What is the nature of reality?”. 

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Onyeka Okongwu, Atlanta Hawks & Houston Rockets Updates

Yet, we’ve already seen teams tank their way into title contention. In the end, there are several ways to build a title contender. It’s a gradual process, no matter which route you choose. Would adding Okongwu get the Rockets a step closer to the title picture? 

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NBA Analysis Network

Why The Houston Rockets Do The Deal 

For what it’s worth, the Rockets did acquire some backup big men this summer. They signed Jock Landale and Jeff Green. Still, neither is a perfect option. Landale is a hardworking player who does the dirty work, but like starter Alperen Sengun, his feet are relatively slow. Meanwhile, Green is simply old. 

Okongwu doesn’t have either of those issues. He’s a quick-footed, versatile big who can guard across positions. This would be a clear upgrade for the Rockets. Between Jabari Smith Jr., Dillon Brooks, Tari Eason, and Reggie Bullock, they can spare Tate. Upgrading at the five should be a bigger priority than hanging onto another defensive wing for this club. 

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Onyeka Okongwu, Atlanta Hawks & Houston Rockets Updates

If the Rockets have reservations here, they’ll have to do with paying Okongwu this summer. They shouldn’t worry about that. With Kevin Porter Jr. coming off the books, the Rockets should be able to afford Okongwu’s deal. Should the Hawks avoid paying him? 

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NBA Analysis Network

Why The Atlanta Hawks Do The Deal 

Okongwu’s upcoming contract negotiations have much to do with their rationale here. Unlike the Rockets, they may not be able to afford him. With Clint Capela entrenched as the starter, Okongwu is redundant to this team. 

On the other hand, Tate would be a solid addition to this roster. He’s also cost-controlled for a while longer. The Hawks are getting an affordable wing to defend multiple positions and make plays for others. He’ll make a nice addition to their roster. 

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Onyeka Okongwu, Atlanta Hawks & Houston Rockets Updates

Yet, the draft capital is the main draw for the Hawks here. It’s hard to say where this swap will convey, but the Hawks will benefit from having it. Who knows? They could draft a rookie with their whole fanbase overreacting to a preseason.

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