The Houston Rockets are reportedly looking to bring in sensational guard Alessandro Gentile from Italy for the 2016-2017 campaign. The 22-year-old wing player was chosen as the 53rd pick during the 2014 NBA Draft.
Marc Stein of ESPN first floated the possibility of Gentile suiting up for Houston and said that "Rockets hold NBA rights to Alessandro Gentile and word is they'll try to bring him to the NBA for next season. Legit chance it happens, too."
The Minnesota Timberwolves first hold the rights for Gentile to play in the NBA but was then purchased by the Rockets. At present, the 6-foot-7 guard currently plays for EA7 Emporio Armani Milano of the Italian Serie A league.
"I decided to stay in Milan to help the team recover what we have lost all together in the end of last season. I was never hiding that I feel a strong bond with this club which has given me so much, these colors and with the city of Milan. The role of a team captain gives me additional responsibility and that is what led me in making this decision," Gentile explained months ago when asked about his thoughts on signing his three-year extension with Milano.
He came off with a promising performance at the EuroBasket 2015 and got a chance to demonstrate his skills in the NBA Global Games against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, which was aired on NBA TV. The flexible wing averaged a team-high of 18 points on 9-of-20 shooting, although he was just 1-of-8 from beyond the arc. He delivered three rebounds and two assists as well as five turnovers.
According to Pro Basketball Talk, Gentile is "a good scorer, but he primarily works from mid-range - an area the Rockets eschew. He can get to the rim in Europe, but his subpar athleticism might hinder him in the NBA."
Meanwhile, power forward Donatas Motiejunas has yet to be given a timetable on when he will be cleared for practices. However, the Houston Chronicle reports that the 25-year-old Lithuanian is already permitted to begin making many full-speed steps.
That can be taken as an improvement for Motiejunas, who suffered from back injury, had underwent surgery to address it, and still in recovery. He returned to on-court workouts roughly two weeks ago. The clearance to begin making sprints is the next step in his rehabilitation process.
Motiejunas said that instead of depending on a timetable to predict his availability, he would rather wait and rely on doctors' advice on when he can rejoin the team's workout. The Houston Rockets are still uncertain if the forward will be able to play for the October 28 season opener.