Okongwu's Debut Will Have to Wait After NBA Postpones Hawks vs. Suns Game

 si.com  01/14/2021 01:01:00   Austin Grad

The NBA debut of former USC center Onyeka Okongwu will have to wait a little longer after the NBA postponed the Atlanta Hawks game against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night. The postponement comes as a precaution of COVID-19 contract tracing, as Phoenix played the Washington Wizards, who have had several positive tests, according to The Athletic's Chris Kirschner.

Okongwu acknowledged the news as he was hoping to make his first appearance in a regular season game as an Atlanta Hawk. The big man quote tweeted ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski's report of the game officially being postponed, with unhappy and sad emojis regarding the news. 

This is the third game that has been cancelled or delayed due to the virus in the league this week.

On Tuesday afternoon, Kirschner reported that Okongwu was probable for Wednesday's scheduled contest. He was expected to suit up for the first time in his NBA career. 

The 6th overall pick has missed the Hawks first 10 games of the season with a left foot injury that he's been dealing with prior to the November NBA draft. 

The Hawks have plenty of other injuries they've been dealing with on top of the former Trojan, as center Clint Capela and guard Rajon Rondo were questionable for the game, while forwards Danilo Gallinari and Bogdan Bogdanovic and guard Kris Dunn were all ruled out for the matchup.

The game against the Suns would've been a good one, as Okongwu would be able to get some good experience with other young stars on the team, including point guard Trae Young, guard Cam Reddish and forward John Collins.

Onyeaka guarding DeAndre Ayton would've been a good interior matchup to watch, as they were both early draft picks with incredible potential and upside with their skill set.

While the 6-foot-9, 235 pound rookie won't be making his coveted debut in Phoenix, he'll still have a chance to make it this week against the Utah Jazz at 6 p.m. pacific time. As long as the game doesn't get delayed or cancelled of course.

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