Emporio Armani Milano sits at a dismal 2-4 in Euroleague play and now marquee name Danilo Gallinari is departing the club … so what’s next? How about coaxing the top prospect in Italy, Alessandro Gentile? Enrico Cellini reports.
Emporio Armani Milan knew that sooner or later it would have had to deal with the loss of NBA lockout refugee Danilo Gallinari, but no one expected this moment would take place in such troubled waters. The team has shown poor chemistry, losing four of its first six Euroleague games to compromise the chances of getting to the EL Top 16.
Even though Gallinari has not left yet, coach Sergio Scariolo’s team can waste no time in finding a valuable successor; according to several rumors, Milan is determined to replace him with the no. 1 Italian prospect Alessandro Gentile.
Gentile has just turned 19 but is already the third-best Italian scorer in Serie A, averaging 12.7 points per game: He’s a guard with outstanding technical skills and a solid body structure (200 cm, 103 kg). Despite his young age, he’s in his fourth season of professional basketball and was the first 18-year-old to ever score 20 points in a Serie A game. NBA draftniks widely believe Gentile will soon become Italy’s fourth NBA player.
What else? Oh yeah, he’s also the youngest son of Ferninando Gentile, one of the greatest Italian playmakers of all-time…
Benetton Treviso may be a tough nut to crack, though, as it currently risks losing three NBA exiles in Jeff Adrien, E’Twaun Moore and fan favorite Brian Scalabrine. The magazine Superbasket reports that Treviso requested a €400,000 buyout (Sportando later tweeted the figure as €500,000) plus Jeff Viggiano in exchange for Gentile, with Milan paying the remainder of Viggiano’s 2011-12 salary.
Enrico Cellini is lifelong basketball fanatic and a long-time sportswriter with a focus on Italy and Spain. He was born among European hoops, was raised watching the NBA, and thinks choosing between American and European basketball is like choosing between one’s mother and father. You can follow him on Twitter or check out his Italian-language blog Hoop Addicted.