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Hawks sign Pero Antic

Jul 26, 2013, 2:18 PM EDT

Olympiakos' Antic celebrates victory against CSKA Moscow after their Euroleague Final Four semi-final basketball game at the O2 Arena in London

The Hawks have been re-tooling a team that earned the No. 6 seed last season and tied the Pacers heading into Game 5 of their first-round series.

Paul Millsap replaces Josh Smith. Elton Brand replaces Ivan Johnson. Dennis Schroeder replaces Devin Harris. Mike Budenholzer replaces Larry Drew. Lou Williams is getting healthy. Free agents Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver are back.

Does this make Atlanta better? Probably not, but the Hawks aren’t necessarily worse, either. They’re just changing, and for a playoff team, that’s not so bad.

But all hopeful playoff teams could use more depth in at the power positions, so Atlanta has signed Pero Antic, according to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Vivamore:

Antic (pronounced An Titch) said he had an opportunity to sign with the Magic in 2008 but couldn’t pass up the financial offer of a team from Russia. Now, he wants a chance to prove himself against the best.

“This time, for myself, I don’t want to say that I had a chance but didn’t go (to the NBA),” Antic said. “This is for myself, for a bigger challenge, and this is the biggest challenge you can get.”

Antic said he sees himself as a power forward who can spread the floor with his ability to shoot and who will get rebounds. He added that he will play center if that is what the Hawks need him to do.

“Pero is a skilled and versatile big man who will add depth to our frontcourt,” general manager Danny Ferry said in a statement. “He will fit in well with what we’re building and we’re excited to add him to the team.”

The Hawks have a few proven big men – Al Horford, Millsap and Brand – ahead of Antic. So, they don’t need Antic – a 6-foot-11, 230-pound 30-year-old who averaged 6.4 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in 15.2 minutes per game for Olympiacos last season – to provide much. Just a little boost off the bench in the back end of the rotation could be enough to keep Atlanta in the playoffs as it battles a crowded middle in the Eastern Conference.

  1. 00maltliquor - Jul 26, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    6”11? You’re playing for the Atlanta Hawks Antic, you better be saying you will play some C if you have to! It’s the only way you’re going to get on the floor!

  2. wwttww - Jul 26, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    Love all the 2 years deals….Ferry is keeping the team very flexible until the youthful Schröder and Nogueira develop into starters.

  3. atlbrave5 - Jul 26, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    The Hawks love to pay for mediocrity. They get a C- for their off season transactions. They had an opportunity to build a team from scratch with a blank check and this is what they come up with:

    -an unproven head coach they got on the cheap. Who cares that he came from SA, why has he never left the bench after all of these years until now? Coaches come from winning organizations all the time and FAIL miserably so there is nothing to get excited about other than his nickname “Coach Bud” is pretty cool!

    -Jeff Teague the starting point guard that is actually more of a back-up who calls the GM and tells them to NOT match the Bucks offer and they do it anyway. So now they have an overrated PG that nobody has heard of outside of ATL that they are paying $32mil for and oh…he doesn’t want to be there‼! You now have a back up point guard that looks like he is still in HS and will no doubt be exciting just in time for him to leave for another team because they will still be paying JEFF TEAGUE!

    -Kyle Kover is good and they got him at a great price for his production but it’s still KYLE KOVER..he will hit 6…3’s one night and go 0-10 the next.

    -They lose Josh Smith which was the only highlight player left from the “Highlight Factory” (local Atlanta language) and they replace him with Elton Brand that has no knee cartilage left and can’t jump off the floor and Paul Milsap that is a good pick up and the only reason I don’t give them a D grade.

    I live in ATL, I go to the games, the arena is half empty most nights depending on who they are playing. They won’t pay guys like Rudy Gay that can put fannies into the seats. They won’t pay guys like Monte Ellis, J.R. Smith because of their “backgrounds” but these are guys that the FANs most identify with..scores and guys that are highlights..ect. this is the 2nd coach they have hired in a row that is willing to work for coaching minimum wage and they won’t pay for a big hire. There is a reason the Falcons own this city and the Hawks are the ugly step child!

  4. paparovic - Aug 22, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    i was actually quite surprised at this move. Antic is a good spot-up shooter but his post game is lacking. He is too slow for an NBA PF and perhaps a bit soft as a C. He will certainly have problems marking the pick n roll due to low speed and quickness. And he is not getting any younger. If someone is slow for european standards (and he was) he will be at a big disadvantage in the NBA.

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