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Report: Hawks draftee Walter Tavares 'very likely' returning to Spain

By James Herbert | NBA writer

Walter "Edy" Tavares, the 7-foot-3, 260-pound center the Atlanta Hawks selected No. 43 overall in last month's draft, is "very likely" heading back to Spain for another season with Gran Canaria, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Chris Vivlamore.

Tavares, a native of Cape Verde, has only been playing basketball for four years. While in Las Vegas, he said he would understand if the decision was made to spend another season in the ACB League.

“The good thing about going overseas, I will definitely play there,” Tavares told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I will play a lot of minutes and continue to improve my game and get more experience toward the next step of being (in the NBA).”

Tavares played for Atlanta's summer league team this month, averaging 6.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game while matched up against guys who almost always were much, much smaller than him. He's a project who teams knew they'd have to wait on.

The Hawks did the same thing with Lucas "Bebe" Nogueira last season, drafting-and-stashing him with Estudiantes. Surprisingly, though, they traded Nogueira to the Toronto Raptors earlier this summer. Tavares, much like Nogueira, has the physical profile of someone who can be effective in the league, but still has a ways to go in terms of development. The upside of keeping him in Spain is that someone else will be paying him while he learns. The downside is Atlanta won't have much control over what he's working on or how he's used.

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