The Atlanta Hawks agreed to a two-year, $2.45 million deal with Macedonian big man Pero Antic this summer, with Atlanta notably holding an option on his deal for the second year of his contract. Despite Antic’s potential as a big man in the NBA, the move still left many people puzzled as to how it would work with the Hawks.
Before the signing, the Hawks already had built a quite formidable frontcourt rotation with Al Horford being joined by Paul Millsap, Gustavo Ayon and Elton Brand. Add second-year forward Mike Scott into the mix and it’s pretty clear that the Hawks have a lot of solid bigs that they could run onto the floor before the Antic signing.
However, as Antic played at Eurobasket 2013 for Macedonia, who has now been eliminated from the tournament, he showed flashes of why he could have value for the Hawks this season and how he could potentially break the rotation.
In five games at Eurobasket, Antic finished with averages of 13.8 points, eight rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. He shot only 40.8 percent from the floor, but converted on 55 percent from two-point range and hit a solid 31 percent of his three-point attempts, a solid mark for a 6’11” big man. In fact, subtracting one game where Antic shot just 1-9 from three, he actually shot 40 percent from long-range.
Antic isn’t a great rebounder for someone his size, but his potential as an offensive player somewhat makes up for that. He has the ability to stretch the floor and has a solid post game. He has a tendency to get a bit trigger-happy offensively, but that could change as he takes the floor with better teammates in the NBA. Beyond that, he also has solid defensive instincts in terms of his footwork and rotations.
Antic likely will still be behind Ayon and Brand in the rotation as they have a leg up in terms of NBA experience, but the 31-year-old has the skills to potentially find some minutes in this Hawks’ rotation. His ability to stretch the floor should fit well in this restructured Hawks team and could help boost his value over the next season.
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