Free agency is still four months away, but the Hawks and second-year big man Pero Antic are already thinking about continuing their partnership. Antic will be up for a new deal this summer, and the Macedonian power forward told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he wants to stay in Atlanta:
“From your mouth to God’s ears, we say,” Antic said when asked if he would like to return to the Hawks. “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.”
Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer said he wants Antic back, too:
“He’s a good part of our core, our substance, our locker room,” Budenholzer said. “Then, the way he plays on the court, I think he’s done a ton to be somebody you want to be a part of your team going forward.
“The summer and free agency is a ways off but we love him.”
It’s been a down year for Antic, as he’s struggled with his shooting and been limited by an ankle injury. Because of that, though, it should’t be too expensive for the Hawks to re-sign him for not much more than the $1.25 million he’s making this season. It sounds like both sides want to get a deal done.