The Atlanta Hawks have officially signed foreign big man Pero Antic President of Basketball Operations/GM Danny Ferry announced Thursday via an official news release.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, per team policy. However, Antic’s agent Misko Raznatovic leaked the news via Twitter early Wednesday morning and indicated that it was a one-year deal with an option for year two:
Hawks beat writer Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution confirmed Raznatovic’s tweet, although he noted the organization had not made any official announcement as of Wednesday:
Yesterday, the signing of Antic became official!
“Pero is a skilled and versatile big man who will add depth to our frontcourt,” GM 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.”
Antić, 30, began playing professionally in 1999 and has played for several European clubs, most recently with Olympiacos of the Greek Basketball League and the Euroleague.
In the 2007-08 season, the 6-foot-11, 260-pound big man was voted MVP of the Bulgarian National Basketball League for averaging 23.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
In the 2010-11 EuroChallenge, Pero helped Spartak St. Petersburg reach the Final Four, averaging 9.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. With Olympiacos, he won the 2011-12 Greek Basketball League championship, along with back-to-back Euroleague titles in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.
“After the two Euroleague championships, I needed a new challenge,” Antic told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday. “When Coach Mike (Budenholzer) called I didn’t even think about the bigger opportunities I had in Europe. I just immediately told him it would be an honor to be here and I will do my best.
“I’m not saying that I will come and we’ll win a championship but I’m going to do my best that I can – score, rebound, play defense, whatever, just to be a part of the team and help the team win so everybody will be happy.”
“This is for myself, for a bigger challenge, and this is the biggest challenge you can get.”
A native of the Republic of Macedonia, Antić (pronounced An Titch) is the captain of the Macedonian National Team. He helped the team to the semi-finals of EuroBasket 2011 in Lithuania, averaging 11.5 points and 8.8 rebounds over 11 games in the tournament.
Pero will return overseas today for the European Championships. Expectations are that he will return to Atlanta immediately following the tournament.
“The more time I have with the (Hawks) the better the adjustment,” Antic said.
There’s been some speculation to how the signing of Antic will effect first-round draft pick Lucas Nogueira’s NBA status next season. For that article, click here.