ATLANTA, Dec. 28 (AP) -- The Atlanta Hawks added another veteran inside player on Thursday, signing former Lakers forward-center Slava Medvedenko.

Medvedenko played for Los Angeles from 2000-06, averaging 5.4 points and 2.9 rebounds in 249 games. The 6-foot-10 Medvedenko, a native of Kiev, Ukraine, won NBA championship rings with the Lakers in 2001, when he played with current Hawks guard Tyronn Lue, and again in 2002.

He was waived by Los Angeles in March.

Terms of his deal with the Hawks were not released by the team.

The Hawks have lost starting forward Josh Smith for four weeks following hernia surgery on Tuesday. The team added veteran center Lorenzen Wright as a backup in the offseason and drafted power forward Shelden Williams in the first round of the 2006 draft.

Medvedenko, 27, is expected to play behind starting center Zaza Pachulia and Wright.

The Hawks waived forward Matt Freije earlier in the week in anticipation of signing Medvedenko.


Copyright 2006 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited