Monday, August 12, 2013

Hawks rookie Lucas Nogueira will stay in Spain

Atlanta Hawks first round pick Lucas Nogueira will be spending next season in Spain so he can get some meaningful minutes and develop his game with Asefa Estudiantes Madrid.

The seven foot center was taken by the Boston Celtics with the 16th pick in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft and quickly traded to the Hawks.

Nogueira would've found it hard to get minutes in a crowded frontcourt that includes Al Horford, Elton Brand, and Paul Millsap.

“We are very encouraged by what we’ve seen from Lucas this summer,” general manager Danny Ferry told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Monday. “Going back to Estudiantes will allow him to continue develop while also playing meaningful minutes against very good competition. We will closely monitor his progress as he works towards his goals as a basketball player.”

Nogueira doesn't seem to mind, but last month he stated that he hoped to stay with the Hawks.

“If I stay here, I’m happy,” he said. “But if I need to go back I’m happy too because in Spain everybody believes in me. I’ve lived … in Spain and I know my club and everybody knows me. I’m happy. I know I can improve my game in Spain. I improved so much this year from last year. Right now, the most important thing is my body. I can’t improve my body in Spain. I’m perfect to stay here because the most important thing is to improve my body.”

Knowing that Danny Ferry cut his teeth in the San Antonio Spurs front office I'd have to say this is a Spurs type of move and could pay off for the  Hawks in the long run.

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