“The fifth Italian in the NBA is going to be Alessandro Gentile. He will move to the Rockets this summer” said Hackett. Alessandro Gentile signed a contract extension with EA7 last summer and he was supposed to remain in Europe for two more years before moving overseas. But his plans seem different now and he is ready to join the Rockets in 2015.
September 24, 2017 | 9:05 am EDT Update
The Celtics have long had an interest in Okafor because of his post skills, and they are in need of a big man. The question is whether the Celtics would deal any of their younger players (likely no) or draft picks for Okafor. The Celtics already have dealt with the 76ers this summer, swapping draft picks and getting a future first-rounder for the third overall pick [Jayson Tatum]. Philadelphia selected Markelle Fultz first overall.
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim says Phil Jackson “chased” Carmelo Anthony out of New York and that the forward’s addition automatically makes the Oklahoma City Thunder a threat to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA’s Western Conference. “They’ve got two top-10 players [in Russell Westbrook and Paul George] and Carmelo, who’s No. 60 or whatever they got him rated,” Boeheim, who coached Anthony to the 2003 NCAA championship, told SNY.tv by phone on Saturday. “I think he’s still a top player, and I think Russell and Paul George make it easier for him to be able to do what he does.”
Asked if he thinks Anthony regrets not making the Knicks a championship contender after arriving in 2011, Boeheim said he did. “Yeah, he loved New York,” he said. “He wanted to come to New York, he wanted to get it done in New York. And he did everything he could to do it, and I don’t think he ever wanted to leave New York. “I think Phil Jackson chased him out, and didn’t leave him a good alternative. But I think both organizations came out of this good.”
Boeheim told ZAGSBLOG last week he believes Jackson hurt the Knicks’ bargaining position by making it known he wanted to trade Anthony. “I think he did, but I think these guys [Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry] salvaged it,” Boeheim said Saturday. “Everybody knew they had to make a move by Monday. They just couldn’t go to training camp in this circumstance so I think they pulled off a good trade.”
In four years, Olynyk averaged 9 points per game, shot 36.8 percent from the 3-point line, and helped carry the Celtics in Games 4 and 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, but he also had his share of bumbling plays as well as mix-ups with opposing players. “It was super tough, being here for four years, coming in as a rookie, kind of growing up here, I know I planted roots and made my home here,” he said. “Being from Canada, all my family is in Canada, one thing you know where your home is. And when [Hurricane Irma] hit in Miami, the only place I knew to go was here.
Q: Is Kristaps Porzingis ready to be “The Man”? Hornacek: I think back at Kobe Bryant, and we played them in the playoffs, and big part of the game, and he must have been a rookie, and he came down and took two shots from the elbow, kind of turnaround, typical Kobe Bryant, but he was young. He shot two air balls, and we win the game. But from that point on, you said: “OK, that kid’s gonna be good,” because he had no qualms about taking that shot. And that’s the development that KP is probably ready to go into, and to be that. I would never put that on a guy at this point to say, “Hey, you’re ‘The Guy.’ ” But you want him to have opportunities to grow into that.
However, in order to get what they want next summer, they’ll have to focus on the present. The more they win, the more attractive they become to superstars who might become available in free agency next year. “I can’t wait,” Nance said. “Hearing all that tanking talk [last year] is like nails on the chalkboard to a competitor. I don’t even want to play if tanking is on the table. … This season is about improvement and wins. And getting to be the best team and having the best chemistry that we can possibly have and getting everybody to play the best that they can play. That’s what I’ve been waiting for. … I, for one, am ecstatic. I’m eager. I wish the first game was tomorrow.”