Heading into the 2014 off-season, the Atlanta Hawks have a couple of roster decisions with members of their rotation. Players like Mike Scott and Shelvin Mack are restricted free agents who the team will have to examine, but in the case of Pero Antic, the decision is fairly simple in terms of simply locking him up for next season if Danny Ferry and company decide to do so.
On Wednesday, there was a report that hints at Atlanta's plans for the Macedonian center.
Told the Hawks are "likely" to pick up team option on Pero Antic. #ATLHawks— Chris Vivlamore (@ajchawks) May 7, 2014
Antic is under a unique contract situation at the moment, as his deal does not represent a true "team option" for 2014-2015, but it operates as such. According to ShamSports, Antic's contract becomes fully guaranteed at $1.25 million for 2014-2015 if he is not waived by July 15th, 2014, and that amounts to the Hawks having to decide on a full season salary by that date.
In my mind, this is a virtual no-brainer for the Hawks, and signing Antic for $1.25 million for next season is the correct move. Obviously, the 31-year-old isn't the definition of an impact player at the center position, but he played starter's minutes for a good portion of the season, and he put up reasonable numbers (11.7 PER, 13.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per 36 minutes) when he was on the floor.
Ideally, Antic would become far less important to the team's plans next season with a healthy Al Horford on the roster, but depending on Elton Brand's decision (he could retire or leave via free agency) and the potential arrival of Lucas Nogueira, Antic would be the lone frontcourt player behind Horford and Millsap who is locked up for next year. This isn't a flashy move by any stretch, but it is one that is easy to endorse, and doubters of Antic based on his shortcomings during the playoff series against Indiana are missing the mark.