Jorge Sierra at HoopsHype.com reports the Hawks are close to signing free agent center Etan Thomas. Hawks assistant general manager Dave Pendergraft confirmed the team had Thomas in for a workout but said Thomas is one of a handful of free agents the Hawks are considering.
“He’s on a very, very short list,” Pendergraft said. “We were pleased with the workout.”
Pendergraft declined to comment on the other candidates for Atlanta’s 13th roster spot. But he said the team likes its options and is “not in a leftover situation” in its search for another center.
“We are very satisfied with who we’ve got under contract and we are looking to see who can accentuate that other position,” Pendergraft said.
Thomas played for the Wizards when Hawks coach Larry Drew was on Washington’s staff. Thomas averaged 14 minutes in 23 games for Oklahoma last season after injuries limited him to 26 games for Washington in 2008-09. He missed the 2007-08 season after undergoing open-heart surgery and has played more than 50 games just three times in eight seasons.
Listed at 6-foot-10 and 260 pounds, Thomas is known as a tough, physical post player who plays with high effort. But his numbers at 82games.com from last season and 2008-09 show that opposing centers lately have been productive against Thomas. Thomas’ block percentage, rebounding percentage and defensive rating have slipped in the last two years.
Thomas has the reputation for being a team leader, though he famously got into multiple fights with former Wizards teammate Brendan Haywood.
– It’s still possible forward Pape Sy will join the Hawks for 2010-11. Sy is set to report to camp for French club Le Havre but the Hawks and Sy’s representative are still talking to Le Havre about a buyout of the final year of Sy’s contract.
Atlanta selected Sy in the second round of the draft in June.