Antic Leaving Hawks for Europe

| June 29, 2015
AJC Photo

AJC Photo

ATLANTA — Pero Antic won’t return to the Hawks as the center is nearing an agreement to return to Europe to play for Fenerbahce.

According to a report by Eurohoops.net, the deal between Antic and the Euroleague team in Turkey will be finalized in the next several days.

Antic spent the past two seasons with the Hawks and was a part of coach Mike Budenholzer’s regular rotation with his ability to stretch the floor as a center. He averaged 6.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and shot .314 from 3-point range in 113 games, including 29 starts. Last season, Antic was a plus-155 in his 63 games. He was due to become restricted free agent.

Antic told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution late this season that he wanted to return to the Hawks.

“From your mouth to God’s ears, we say,” Antic said in March. “I love it. I love the guys. I love everything. I couldn’t be happier to come. The coaching staff, to be so similar to Europe, to be so understanding of the players, rarely you can find that.”

Antic appeared in 15 of the Hawks’ 16 playoff games this season. He averaged 4.2 points and 2.9 rebounds. He struggled from long-range making just 11 of 32 3-pointers.

Antic must return to the United States to deal with his on-going legal issue associated with his arrest in New York in April. Antic and teammate Thabo Sefolosha were arrested outside a city nightclub. Following a preliminary hearing earlier this month, Antic has a trial date set for Sept. 9 on three misdemeanor charges of obstructing governmental administration, disorderly conduct and second-degree harassment.

Antic, the 33-year old from Macedonia, came to the NBA after a lengthy career in Europe by signing with the Hawks. He was named to the rookie-sophomore game during the NBA All-Star weekend in New Orleans during his first year.

Fenerbahce is one of the teams in talks with Hawks draftee center Edy Tavares, a second-round pick last year who played in Spain’s ACB League.

Mike Muscala, entering his third season, will have an increased role with the Hawks with the departure of Antic and the most likely not re-signing Elton Brand.

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