Hawks’ first-round draft pick Lucas Nogueira will remain in Spain next season to continue his development. The native of Brazil will play another year with Asefa Estudiantes Madrid while the Hawks maintain his rights.

The seven-foot center taken with the 16th overall selection in June’s NBA draft was caught in a crowded frontcourt after a number of offseason moves that included the additions of Paul Millsap Elton Brand Pero Antic and Gustavo Ayon. The team’s frontcourt also includes Al Horford and Mike Scott.

“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 who turned 20 last month appeared in five games for the Hawks in last month’s Las Vegas Summer League. He averaged 6.4 points and 6.0 rebounds. The Hawks would like Nogueira to continue to develop on the court while he adds muscle to his 225-pound frame. He showed promise with his height and reach during summer league play but was clearly out-muscled under the basket.

Nogueira played the professionally in Spain the past three seasons. Last year he averaged 5.4 points 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 13.3 minutes over 32 ACB League games for Estudiantes.

The Hawks have signed point guard Dennis Schroder their other first-round pick. Second-round pick center Mike Muscala has signed to play in Spain to continue his development.