After a surprising run to the Eastern Conference finals last season, the Atlanta Hawks spent the offseason trying to keep the team that got them there intact. They re-signed forward John Collins, gave superstar Trae Young the rightfully deserved rookie contract extension and now they've given center Clint Capela a two-year contract extension worth $46 million that will carry him through the 2024-25 season, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Capela shared his excitement on Twitter as he put pen to paper:
In his first year with the Hawks after being traded there by the Rockets, Capela balled out, averaging 15.2 points, 14.3 rebounds -- which led the league last season -- and two blocks a game. Although his numbers fell in the postseason (10.1 points, 11.2 boards), he still played a significant role in helping the Hawks to the ECF.
His size came in handy against a defensively stout Knicks team, and although he was unable to adequately contain Joel Embiid when Atlanta matched up against the Philadelphia 76ers, his presence in the paint deterred other Sixers players from coming into the lane. Capela performed well against the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks, but the Hawks as a team were simply outmatched against a well-oiled Bucks team, especially after Young was sidelined for two games of that series.
Capela's original contract was set to expire at the end of the 2022-23 season, but by tacking on the extra two years, it allows the Hawks to have this same core intact for several more years. With Capela, Young and Collins all signed to new deals this summer, Atlanta has now locked in its core group of players until at least 2025, when Bogdan Bogdanovic is set to become an unrestricted free agent. The next deals that will have to be worked out are Kevin Huerter, who will be a restricted free agent next summer, and De'Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish, who still have two more years of team control before they hit restricted free agency in 2024.
This gives the Hawks a consistent timeline with all its core players, setting them up to be flexible when it's time for Young's next contract to be signed in 2026.