ATLANTA (AP) — Hawks general manager Danny Ferry isn’t saying if center Lucas Nogueira and point guard Dennis Schroeder will be ready to play in the NBA next season.Atlanta acquired both players in the first round — Nogueira through a trade with Dallas at No. 16 overall and Schroeder with the 17th pick that the Hawks had before the draft.
But given that neither played for a college team in the U.S., Ferry will wait to see if Nogueira, a 7-foot center from Brazil, and Schroeder, a 6-1 point guard from Germany, will be ready to handle the demands of the NBA before he decides on their future for next season.
“It’s possible,” Ferry said. “We’re not going to put a line in the sand either way at this point.”
Nogueira was drafted by Boston, but he only stayed with the Celtics for a short time on Thursday night before Dallas moved down in the draft to swing its deal with Atlanta. The Hawks then used the No. 18 overall pick to select Shane Larkin and send the Miami point guard to the Mavericks.
Atlanta, which is heading into its first season with new coach Mike Budenholzer, also acquired point guard Jared Cunningham and the rights to second-round pick Mike Muscala, a center from Bucknell, in the deal with Dallas.
Nogueira, whose massive hairdo caused a stir during the draft ceremony in New York, comes to the Hawks with plenty of character, Ferry said with a grin. He has both a tremendous level of talent and charisma as well,” Ferry said. “He can do things athletically with his length, from protecting around the rim and finishing around the rim. He has a good understanding of the game, he’s a good basketball player and a good teammate.”
Whether it’s next season or the following season, the Hawks hope Nogueira can become the starting center who allows Al Horford, a two-time All-Star, to move to power forward.
Nogueira is currently playing for Estudiantes with the ACB league in Spain and has averaged 5.4 points and 3.3 rebounds this season.
The Hawks are a possible longshot candidate to sign center Dwight Howard, an Atlanta native who spent last season with the Los Angeles Lakers, as an unrestricted free agent, but Ferry couldn’t afford to wait without getting a young prospect to develop alongside Horford.
“We have to continue to build our roster and hopefully have a good mix of young guys that you develop and grow,” Ferry said. “Those help your program be sustainable, but it’s also important to have guys that have some experience, have some feel for the game and some feel for the NBA. We’ll look to do that going forward.”
Considering that Schroeder needs seasoning, too, Ferry is still eager to meet with incumbent starting point guard Jeff Teague, a restricted free agent who helped the Hawks finish 44-38 last season and earn the No. 6 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.
“Jeff has been an important part of our group the last few years,” Ferry said. “He was an important part of our team last year and as we start to look at free agency and so on, we’re absolutely going to sit down and talk to Jeff as his process gets started.”
Schroeder impressed Ferry two months ago at the Nike Hoops Summit in Portland, Ore. All the buzz that Ferry had heard about Schroeder seemed legitimate.
“I love that he is tenacious,” Ferry said. “He can shoot the basketball at a good level, he can get in the lane and make plays for other people. Defensively, he can put great pressure on the ball.”
Cunningham, the No. 24 overall draft pick of 2012, played in just eight games last season for Dallas and spent most of his time with the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League, averaging 15.3 points and 3.0 assists in 15 games.
The Hawks acquired Muscala with the 44th overall pick. The 7-foot center averaged 18.7 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots to lead Bucknell to the NCAA tournament as a No. 11 seed.
With the 47th pick, Atlanta selected point guard Raul Neto of Brazil.
Neto, 21, averaged 8.0 points and 2.8 assists this season for Lagun Aro GBC in a Spanish league.
The Hawks chose Long Beach State swingman James Ennis with the 50th overall pick, but it appeared he would be traded to the Miami Heat pending approval from the NBA.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.
Meet the new Hawks:
• Brazilian, played in Spain for Estudiantes
• 20 years old
• 7’0″ – 220 lbs
• From Germany
• 19 years old
• 6’2″ – 165 lbs
• Acquired from Dallas, 24th pick in 2012
• 22 years old
• 6’5″ – 188 lbs
• Bucknell’s all-time leading scorer
• 22 years old
• 7’0″ – 230 lbs