Gorgui Sy Dieng signed up for the Atlanta Hawks this season. He arrives in the franchise after the Onyeka Okongwu center has undergone surgery and requires a recovery time of 6 months. What are the expectations of the franchise that is evolving in the Eastern Conference with this new recruit?
In need of a backup center, the Hawks signed a one-year contract with free agent Gorgui Dieng in the hope that he will adequately replace Okongwu during his absence according to this report.
The offensive contribution
Dieng will provide the Hawks with a unique skill set that translates well in the modern NBA. On the offensive side, Dieng excels as a screen and roller on ball screens as he does a good job using his athleticism not only to apply back pressure on opposing big men in drop cover, but also to roll towards. Cart.
Dieng can also space the floor like a large stretch. He hit a career-high 42.9% at depth last season, and he is expected to make an impact in five-man sets and pick-and-pop with the Hawks. Mechanically his jump shot is a bit unorthodox, but the results speak for themselves.
One of the advantages of performing sets of 5 is that when the jump shots fall, the driving lanes open up. At this point in the game, Dieng has hit several 3 points, so his defender has to step up and challenge a possible shot. Because Dieng has the athletic edge over Dwight Howard (sounds weird to say) he’s able to attack Howard’s front foot, straddle his right hip, and take the foul.
His defensive contribution
Defensively, Dieng is an excellent rim protector. By combining his phenomenal assist instincts and his 7’4 ″ wingspan, he is able to defend the field goal attempts. He also does a good job of blocking incoming shots, which allows his team to retain possession of the ball.
Dieng is also athletic enough to make defensive plays on the perimeter. He is good at reading passing lanes and anticipating when to play with the ball. While Dieng may not have been the flashiest pickup this offseason, he will fill a significant need at the backup center and provide much-needed versatility to the Hawks’ front room.