ESPN is back with their third annual NBA player rankings, and the list is littered with Atlanta Hawks players.
ESPN.com and the TrueHoop Network are ranking every NBA player for the third straight year — and counting them down on Twitter (@ESPNNBA), from No. 500 to No. 1.
This year, we asked our ESPN Forecast panel to predict the overall level of play for each player for the upcoming NBA season. This includes both the quality and the quantity of his expected contributions, combined in one overall rating.
We asked our ESPN Forecast panel to rate each player on a 0-to-10 scale, in terms of “the overall level of play for each player for the upcoming NBA season.”
The first Atlanta Hawk to make the list is newly signed Macedonian big man Pero Antic. Antic is ranked 465 out of 500 players, despite never suiting up for an NBA team in his pro career. The 6’11″ PF/C was signed by the Hawks on July 25.
Antic, 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 260-pound big man was voted MVP of the Bulgarian National Basketball League, 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.
Antic led Macedonia to a perfect 3-0 record in August’s Basketball SuperCup, but struggled in September’s Eurobasket FIBA qualifying tournament, going 1-4 and failing to advance to the second round. Antic averaged 13.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game, while shooting 41 percent over the five-game stretch.
To find out more about Antic check out this interview he did with the beautiful Jessica Taylor of Hawks TV.