Greetings! It’s been a couple of (busy) weeks since we last checked in with a full player profile, but we’re back with an in-depth look at 1st-time NBA player, Pero Antic. Let’s go!
I’ll be honest. When the first announcement came through that the Hawks picked up Pero Antic in the off-season, I couldn’t form an opinion, because, well, I had no idea who Antic was. Since then, however, there’s been a lot of research (plus exhibition play) on Antic, and we’ve got a much better idea of his potential contributions.
Antic is a 31-year-old NBA “rookie”, who has become the first NBA player ever from Macedonia. He’s listed at 6-foot-11 and 260 pounds, and by all accounts, he’s a physical, scrappy player who has been wildly entertaining in interviews and on Twitter. Sounds ok, right?
There are mixed reviews on Antic’s actual skills, as he has flashed the ability to shoot from the outside, but one initial scouting report when he arrived in the US (from the EuroStep blog) compared his propensity for outside shooting to that of Josh Smith. Yes, that Josh Smith.
At any rate, Antic is considered to be pretty “safe” at this stage in his career, and I can’t imagine Danny Ferry giving him a guaranteed deal otherwise. I loved the acquisition as a cheap, priced-in talent at the time, and I’ve seen nothing to dissuade me.
Role on the Roster
This may have changed significantly in the past few days. Presumptive backup center/power forward Gustavo Ayon suffered a shoulder injury that will carry over into the regular season, and with that, Antic is now the second call off the bench (after Elton Brand) behind Paul Millsap and Al Horford. We don’t have a ton of data to project Antic as a defender/rebounder at this level, but he’s got shooting range (whether that’s a good thing or not remains to be seen), and appears to be a physical player despite his tendency to drift to the perimeter offensively.
Antic is guaranteed to be on the opening-night roster, and at this point, he’s virtually guaranteed to see the court as the 4th big man (unless something crazy happens). For me, I think he’d have to play extremely well to avoid being displaced (at least somewhat) by the return of the more-proven Gustavo Ayon, but Antic has a role and I think he’ll perform in solid fashion as a 10-15 minute per night player when everyone is healthy.
Stay tuned for the next installment, and be sure to check out all of our Hawks coverage!