The Atlanta Hawks entered the offseason needing to bolster their frontcourt depth. General manager Danny Ferry took on the task, adding an international flair to the roster with Gustavo Ayon and Pero Antic.
Ayon has been in the league for two years already, so fans should already have an idea of what to expect from him. Antic, on the other hand, comes to Atlanta from Europe.
So, what do you need to know about Pero Antic?
First of all, his name is pronounced Pĕrō (Peh-row) Äntić (Ahn-Teetch).
A brief history
The 6'11", 260-pound big man was born in Skopje, Yugoslavia—presently the Republic of Macedonia. He maintains both Macedonian and Bulgarian citizenship.
He has been playing professional basketball since 1999, where he started his career with the KK Rabotnicki in the Macedonian First League.
He has been in Europe since 2001, when he began playing for the AEK (Athlitiki Enosis Konstantinoupoleos) basketball club in Athens, Greece. He has nine years of experience playing in Europe and three years of limited experience in Russia.
Due in large part to his size and strength, he has traditionally played center. Despite this fact, his skill set and the international game don't resemble the traditional American use of centers—in the post. Antic's offensive skills are much more perimeter oriented.
Over the course of his European career, 35 percent (745 total) of his 2102 field goal attempts have come from beyond the three-point line. He has made nearly 33 percent of those threes.
Antic may not be a prolific scorer, but (for someone that primarily shoots jump shots) he's fairly efficient. He has completed 48 percent of his attempts.
Personality and Character
Antic exhibits good leadership ability, having served as captain of the Macedonian National Team.
He brings championship experience with him to the Hawks. He has won multiple titles in Europe, including two Euroleague championships with Greek Olympiacos and two Greek Basket League championships (one with AEK Athens and one with Olympiacos) among quite a few others.
He has a reputation for playing tough and being physical. He has even been known to get into altercations with teammates.
He is a self-professed family man, taking care of his wife Ruzica and their two kids.
He is a bit eccentric. He likes cars and makes a hobby of collecting them. He also loves body art. One of his more notable tattoos is a shredded Macedonian flag on his chest.
How He'll Fit In With the Hawks
He will likely spend most of his minutes in the rotation as a backup power forward. His ability to shoot the long ball will help spread the floor and create more space for center Al Horford (or backup Elton Brand) to maneuver in the low post.
He is an adequate rebounder, though his perimeter-oriented play style keeps him off the glass on the offensive side of the ball.
At this stage in his career, he is not expected to be a major contributor. He does, however, expect to give his all.
I’m not saying that I will come and we’ll win a championship but I’m going to do the 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.
His addition to the roster gives the Hawks added depth, leadership and experience, as well as another ranged shooter. He should fit into head coach Mike Budenholzer's scheme quite well.