Pero Antic

Report: Hawks ‘in the mix’ for Monta Ellis


Monta Ellis was the leading scorer for the Mavericks last season, but that doesn’t mean the team is exactly eager to have him back.

After opting out of the final year of a contract that would have paid him $8.72 million next season, Dallas reportedly won’t offer him an increase to return. And, his moodiness both on and off the court contributed to chemistry issues that were a contributing factor in the Mavericks failing to reach their potential last season.

There are scenarios where Ellis returning to the Mavericks may make sense for both sides. But for now, he’ll shop around a bit in free agency, and Atlanta is reportedly a team that may have some interest.

From Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas:

Hearing that the Hawks are expected to be in the mix for Monta Ellis.

The Hawks are interesting, mainly because of the fact that the team that won 60 games during the regular season before stumbling to the Eastern Conference finals is facing so much uncertainty with its roster.

Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll are both unrestricted free agents, and it’s unclear if Atlanta will commit the dollars to both players that they’ll be able to earn by testing the market. Kyle Korver is recovering from multiple injuries which required surgery, and reserve Pero Antic is already gone.

The Hawks were world-beaters the first half of the season, but teams caught up with them as the year progressed. They could use some additional shot creation on the offensive end of the floor, which Ellis is certainly capable of providing. But it probably depends on what the rest of the team looks like before Atlanta considers the move, because it would be a fairly drastic change to what worked so well for the bulk of the previous season.

Report: Pero Antic leaving NBA to play overseas


Pero Antic is a 6’11” power forward who played for the Hawks the past two seasons, and was known for his ability to occasionally stretch the floor by knocking down shots from three-point distance.

But entering a summer where he’s facing restricted free agency, it appears as though Antic has decided to take his talents overseas, rather than dealing with the politics of figuring out his next stateside destination.

From Nikos Varlas of

Pero Antic is a restricted free agent, however he already decided to return to Europe. The former Euroleague champion with Olympiacos has a deal in place with Fenerbahce/ Ulker which is expected to be formalized in the next days.

The official announcement is the only thing missing. Antic after two seasons in the NBA returns to Europe and Fenerbahce needs many new faces in its front line, specially after losing its ancor, Nemanja Bjelica. However Antic is expected to be used mainly in the center position, replacing Luca Zoric.

It’s worth wondering if Antic’s decision was at all affected by the police incident he and teammate Thabo Sefolosha were involved in near the end of the regular season.

Whether it was or it wasn’t, the numbers showed that he regressed year over year with the Hawks. At age 32, the safer bet, from both the standpoint of available dollars as well as on-court expectations, might simply to be to return to playing in a league where he can more readily dominate at his position.

Court date set for Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha and Pero Antic after NYPD incident


In April, Hawks players Thabo Sefolosha and Pero Antic were arrested outside a New York City nightclub in an incident that also saw Pacers forward Chris Copeland get stabbed. Sefolosha suffered a season-ending leg injury after an altercation with the New York Police Department, and has been very vocal since then about his belief that the injury was caused by the police and was unwarranted. Now, both Hawks players have a court date set for next week.

From Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Hawks players Pero Antic and Thabo Sefolosha have a date in New York City Criminal Court next week as they face misdemeanor charges stemming from an arrest outside a nightclub in April.

The hearing will be held Tuesday, June 16 at 9 a.m. and is the next procedural step in the case before a trial date is set.

Both players were charged with obstructing governmental administration. Antic also was charged with one count of disorderly conduct and one count of second-degree harassment. Sefolosha also was charged with one count of resisting arrest and one count of disorderly conduct. The players have remained steadfast in their innocence.

In a recent interview with ESPN, Sefolosha said the incident greatly hurt his reputation as well as his health and well-being. “We are talking about the stress that it has brought to the entire family, you know, my mom and dad in Switzerland, my brothers and sisters, my wife,” he said. “Also, the damage to my reputation. I’ve had people texting me about what they saw in the newspaper and things like this. Every aspect of my life was affected by something like this, and I think putting light on the aftermath of something like this, I think that’s also something that’s important.”

Pero Antic commits flagrant foul on LeBron James (VIDEO)


LeBron James was in attack mode from the very beginning of his team’s Game 2 contest against the Hawks, which was predictable for a couple of reasons.

With Kyrie Irving out of the lineup due to the lingering effects of a knee injury, James would need to be more assertive in taking control on the offensive end of the floor. And, with Atlanta’s DeMarre Carroll playing through a knee issue of his own, James would want to attack his defender as much as possible since he’s out there while being well below 100 percent.

As a result, James was largely unstoppable — so Hawks big man Pero Antic resorted to simply shoving him to the ground.

It wasn’t an attempt at defense, so I’m fine with the flagrant call, which only came after officials went to the monitor for a video review.

James finished the first quarter with 13 points, and the Cavaliers were out to a double-digit lead early in the second.

Hawks face uphill climb after DeMarre Carroll injury


The Eastern Conference Finals may have just been decided in the worst possible way.

Nobody knows yet how bad DeMarre Carroll’s leg injury is yet. The Hawks are calling it a knee sprain for now, but it looks bad. Even if it isn’t as bad as it seemed at the time, Carroll couldn’t put weight on it after the Hawks’ Game 1 home loss to the Cavs, and it’s highly unlikely he plays in at least the next game, if not longer.

Which is an awful prospect, both for Carroll (coming up on free agency) and the Hawks, who now face the task of beating the best player in the world without the guy on their roster most equipped to guard him. Carroll has been the least talked-about member of the Hawks starting five, the only one that wasn’t named an All-Star. But he’s their best perimeter defender, and it’s not really close.

The most logical choice to guard LeBron James with Carroll out is Paul Millsap, who handled most of those duties after Carroll went down on Wednesday. Millsap can handle him in small stretches, but as the Hawks’ primary game plan (which he is now by default), he’s not nearly as well equipped as Carroll to do that heavy lifting.

In addition to creating a much greater defensive burden on the rest of the Hawks, Carroll’s injury is going to force their bench — which has been problematic for much of the playoffs — into a larger role. Kent Bazemore will probably get the starting nod at small forward, and he was solid in 16 minutes in Game 1, scoring 16 points on 4-of-5 shooting. He’ll bring energy on offense, but he isn’t nearly the defender Carroll is. What the Hawks got out of Dennis Schroder, Pero Antic and Mike Muscala off the bench on Wednesday is not encouraging. Maybe Mike Budenholzer will dust off Mike Scott, who’s fallen out of the rotation for most of the playoffs.

The Cavs won Game 1, but they’re still hobbled by injuries. They were carried on Wednesday night by J.R. Smith setting a playoff career high and hitting eight three-pointers. For the most part, this is still a series that James will have to do the heavy lifting for. The Hawks’ best hope was to make that workload as heavy as possible, and at least for the short term, they will have to find a way to do that without their defensive ace.

Carroll will get an MRI on Thursday, and he and the Hawks will have to hope that it’s “only” a strain or a hyperextension, not something much worse. Either way, they’ll probably be without him for at least the rest of this series, and that makes their road to the Finals much more difficult.