Virtus Roma Rumors
Reports of players in Italy flying back to the United States came in bunches on Friday morning. Emiliano Carchia, who runs the Sportando website that covers European basketball, reported the departures of Jaylen Barford, William Buford, Liam Farley, Davon Jefferson and James White from Virtus Roma in Rome. Numerous other Americans in Italy — Travis Diener, Ethan Happ and Terran Petteway among them — also received permission from their clubs to return to the States. Barford told The Athletic that people in the airport were “pretty calm” as he made his flight back to the U.S. The former St. John’s star said he might return to Italy if play resumes after the delay.
Virtus Roma of the Italian Serie A2 tried to sign Andrea Bargnani for the playoffs. Il Mago is negotiating a buyout with Baskonia where he has signed last summer a two-year deal. Bargnani, native from Rome, grew up with Stella Azzurra before moving to Benetton Treviso and the NBA in 2006-2007.
Gani Lawal has signed with the Philadelphia 76ers on a multi-year contract worth partial salary guarantees, league sources told RealGM. A physical, athletic forward at 6-foot-9, Lawal had a breakout professional season with Virtus Roma and received substantial interest from NBA teams entering the offseason. Ultimately, Lawal signed with a Latvian team but was pried out of the deal with the 76ers showing an increasing interest, and the 24-year-old’s representatives negotiated a release in Lithuania this week.