Maurizio Gherardini Rumors

The Oklahoma City Thunder has added longtime executive Maurizio Gherardini to its staff as a senior advisor/international affairs. Gherardini is best known for his 14 years as general manager of Benetton Treviso, where he established himself as one of the brightest minds and administrators in the history of European basketball. During his tenure with Benetton Treviso, Gherardini helped to turn the Italian club into one of the most familiar and successful clubs outside of the NBA. Under his guidance, Benetton captured four Italian League championships, seven Italian Cups, three Italian Supercups and made four appearances in the Euroleague’s Final Four. Since 2006, Gherardini has held the position of vice president and assistant general manager for the Toronto Raptors.
His Eurocup’s numbers show that he did a great job (11.3 ppg., 64.1% 2FG, 7.9 rpg., 1.6 bpg., 16.9 index) and of course the Toronto Raptors that have his NBA rights are watching him and waiting to sign him this summer, as team vice president Maurizio Gherardini clarifies to “Yes, our plan is to sign him this summer as we hope he can be a key piece of our core group of young talented players, a very nice piece for the future of the Raptors”, he says and he doesn’t mind if he has to wait a little more, because of Valanciunas’ commitment to Lithuanian National Team that will compete in FIBA pre- Olympic tournament in Venezuela and probably in the London’s Olympics: “We do not have any objections as we understand how much any player in the world would like to do whatever it takes to represent your country with the National Team and, in this specific case, to make it to the Olympic Games”.
According to Italian newspaper La Tribuna of Treviso, Maurizio Gherardini expects to be re-upped by the Raptors. His contract is slated to expire on Thursday night but apparently, negotiations are in progress. Gherardini joined the Raptors in June of 2006, becoming the first European to hold a senior management position in the NBA. He has shifted from vice president and assistant general manager to senior vice president, basketball operations.
In addition to Colangelo’s extensive history with European basketball, the Raptors ace in the hole might just be Maurizio Gherardini. Gherardini, the Raptors senior vice-president of basketball operations, is considered one of the brightest minds and administrators in the history of European basketball having built Benetton Treviso into a European power before jumping to the NBA. The problem is Gherardini’s contract is up at the end of the month and it is not known if he’ll be around to help the Raptors through this.
Colangelo was speaking on Thursday after reported that the Raptors were seeking a replacement for Maurizio Gherardini, the vice president of basketball operations whose contract expires June 30. Colangelo disputed the report, saying that while he has yet to address Gherardini’s future — “I’d like to have (Gherardini) back,” he said — the search for new blood isn’t a push to fill a soon-to-be-empty office.
Raptors vice-president Maurizio Gherardini says the year in Greece completely revamped Kleiza’s game. “He is a more complete player,” Gherardini said, having seen Kleiza in the five games Lithuania played at the FIBA world championship. “He works more at both ends of the floor and I think he has learned more to use his game mixing the inside and outside better. As much as he counts on his three-point shot, he works his man close to the basket. He’s mixing things up in a more consistent way.”
“Basketball is the most important thing in Lithuania, more than anything else,” said Maurizio Gherardini, a long-time follower of the international game and now managing director of Canada’s national teams. “Basketball is not only the sport, basketball is life philosophy, it’s religion. They are all basketball people, they know the game, they are all coaches, they are all players, you feel and smell basketball everywhere. So every time you have an international competition, you have thousands of Lithuanians coming, wherever the competition is. “It’s not just sport . . . it’s a country that found a way to present itself to the rest of the world from it.”