Alessandro Gentile

Germany, Italy, Others Finalize World Cup Rosters

We’re just two days away from FIBA’s 2019 World Cup officially tipping off, and more national teams have officially set their 12-man rosters for the event, including a pair of countries whose squads will feature multiple NBA players.

Team Germany made its final cut this week, dropping Wizards youngster Isaac Bonga from its roster. Even without Bonga on the team, there are plenty of familiar faces for NBA fans — Dennis Schroder (Thunder), Daniel Theis (Celtics), and Maxi Kleber (Mavericks) will represent Germany in this year’s tournament.

The Italian national team, meanwhile, will be led by Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari and Spurs sharpshooter Marco Belinelli. Former NBA forward Gigi Datome and 2014 second-round pick Alessandro Gentile are also part of Italy’s squad.

Here are more details on teams that have established their 12-man World Cup rosters:

And-Ones: LaMelo, G League Draft, Gentile, Blair

LaMelo Ball was extremely impressive during the Drew League pro-am in Los Angeles, writes Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated. The younger brother of Lonzo Ball will spend the upcoming season in Australia and has a chance to be one of the top picks in the 2020 draft.

After seeing him in action, Woo states that LaMelo has a chance to be the best player in the family. He’s already 6’6″ at age 18 and is a much better scorer than Lonzo was at the same age. Woo describes LaMelo as “an excellent passer” with an effective change-of-pace move and a “quicker, cleaner release” on his shot than his brother has.

Woo also got a first-hand look at Cade Cunningham, whom he calls “best high school prospect regardless of class.” The 6’7″ point guard appears to be headed to Kentucky, North Carolina or Oklahoma State and could be the first player drafted in 2021.

  • Former NBA forward DeJuan Blair can’t fulfill the contract he signed with Italian team VL Pesaro earlier this month because of a doping suspension, Carchia writes. Blair failed an anti-doping test during the 2017/18 season, but wasn’t aware because FIBA sent the notification to the wrong email address. Blair was selected by the Austin Spurs in last year’s G League draft.

International Notes: J. Anthony, B. Paul, Gentile

Former NBA center Joel Anthony has decided to return to Argentina to continue his playing career, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays. After helping to lead San Lorenzo de Almagro to a domestic title and an Americas League championship last season, Anthony has rejoined the club, replacing another former NBA big man, Eric Dawson.

Anthony, who was waived by the Bucks last October, appeared in 490 regular season games over the course of his 10-year NBA career for the Heat, Celtics, Pistons, and Spurs. The 36-year-old also played in another 66 postseason games, primarily for the Heat — he won a pair of titles with Miami.

Here are a few more international notes and updates on players with a connection to the NBA:

  • Brandon Paul, who was waived by the Spurs earlier this year after appearing in 64 games for the club last season, is said to be considering EuroLeague club KK Buducnost, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando, who adds that a move to China is another option for the ex-Spurs shooting guard.
  • After being signed and cut by the Rockets this fall, Italian swingman Alessandro Gentile has signed with Estudiantes in Spain, per Carchia. The 53rd overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, Gentile was a Rockets draft-and-stash for several years, but his rights are no longer held by any NBA team.
  • Manny Harris, who has seen NBA action for the Cavaliers, Lakers, and Mavericks, had a short-lived stint in Lithuania this season. As Carchia passes along, Harris and his club in Lithuania, Rytas Vilnius, have agreed to part ways after just 18 days.

Southwest Notes: Gentile, Pondexter, Jordan, Mavs

Last week, we noted that an entry in the NBA’s transactions log indicated that the Rockets had waived draft-and-stash prospect Alessandro Gentile. The move came as a surprise, considering we heard last month that he wasn’t attending camp with Houston, and the team never announced his signing.

Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle provides some clarity on the situation, tweeting that Gentile signed his required non-guaranteed tender offer with the Rockets, who immediately (and quietly) waived him. Gentile isn’t in the club’s plans, Feigen adds. Based on the pair of transactions, the Italian swingman, who was the 53rd overall pick in the 2014 draft, is free to sign with any NBA team in the future, though he’ll likely continue to play overseas for now.

Here’s more from around the Southwest division:

  • After battling a life-threatening infection following a series of knee surgeries, Quincy Pondexter isn’t stressing his precarious hold on a Spurs roster spot, recognizing that it’s not exactly a life-and-death situation. Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News has the story, along with the quotes from Pondexter. The veteran is the only player on San Antonio’s 15-man roster without a guaranteed contract, so he may be the odd man out if the club decides to add point guard depth.
  • The Mavericks haven’t had a reliable and productive starting center since Tyson Chandler manned the middle for the 2011 championship squad, so the club is understandable excited about seeing DeAndre Jordan in action this season, writes Dwain Price of Still, there’s no guarantee that Jordan will remain in Dallas for longer than one year. A handful of Dallas Morning News scribes, including Eddie Sefko and Brad Townsend, provide their thoughts on Jordan’s potential future with the Mavs.
  • Dennis Smith Jr. is just 20 years old and is entering his second NBA season, but he has already showed leadership qualities, as Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle details. “When he talks, people listen,” Carlisle said of Smith, per Sefko. “He’s not a guy that’s going to give you a lot of unnecessary constant chatter. But he understands when to step forward and be strong as a leader verbally.”

Rockets Sign Bond, Waive Gentile

The Rockets signed guard Tim Bond and he’ll join their G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Mark Berman of KRIV tweets.

The 6’6” Bond played all four of his college seasons with Eastern Michigan, where he averaged 8.6 PPG and 3.0 APG. He averaged 9.2 PPG, 4.9 RPG and 3.5 APG during his senior year.

In order to open up a spot for Bond, the Rockets have waived guard Alessandro Gentile, according to’s transactions log.

It’s unclear when Houston signed Gentile, since he wasn’t listed on the 20-man training camp roster. Gentile had been recovering from right hand surgery after suffering the injury in May.

Gentile, a 6’7″ wing, has played overseas since being selected with the 53rd overall pick in the 2014 draft.

No Deal For Alessandro Gentile, Rockets

The Rockets and 2014 second-round pick Alessandro Gentile don’t have a deal in place for him to join the team for training camp, writes Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

Gentile, a 6’7″ wing who has remained overseas since being selected with the 53rd overall pick in the 2014 draft, appeared poised to come stateside this fall, having indicated last month that he expected to join the Rockets for camp. However, according to Carchia, the Rockets offered Gentile a two-way contract and he prefers an Exhibit 10 deal.

An Exhibit 10 contract would allow Gentile to compete for a spot on the Rockets’ 15-man regular season roster, but it could also be converted to a two-way deal by a team before the regular season begins. If Gentile isn’t on board with the idea of becoming one of Houston’s two-way players, he may also be reluctant about agreeing to an Exhibit 10 pact.

For now, the Rockets retain Gentile’s NBA rights — we’ll see if the two sides can come to some agreement one way or the other before the 2018/19 season begins.

Southwest Notes: Grizzlies, Nowitzki, Gentile

The Grizzlies will hold their annual media day on Monday and Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian is looking at six key questions that loom over the team’s upcoming campaign. Among them are how much Mike Conley and Marc Gasol can still contribute, what rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. can provide and how the rotation will play out in the backcourt and on the wing.

After a disappointing, injury-riddled 2017/18 season that saw the Grizzlies win just 22 games, the team added Jackson, Kyle Anderson and Garrett Temple (among others) in the offseason in hopes of returning to the playoffs. All of Memphis’ offseason additions point to a return to “grit and grind,” the style of play that brought the Grizzlies a lot of success over the past decade, including four playoff series victories.

Conley will play a deciding role in the team’s success. Back in 2016/17, he was a borderline All-Star averaging 20.5 points and 6.3 assists per game while knocking down over 40 percent of his 3-pointers. He’s on the wrong side of 30 and coming off a significant foot injury, but if Conley can produce at that level this season the Grizzlies will be competitive.

The same can also be said for Gasol, the 33-year-old center who looked disengaged throughout most of last season as the team shifted its focus on developing young players and maximizing its draft pick. With the addition of several veterans in the offseason and the return of his point guard, Gasol should bounce back and continue to be a force in the middle for the Grizzlies.

Despite all of their additions and a clean bill of health, it will be very tough for the Grizzlies to make it back to the postseason given the improvements that several teams in the Western Conference made, including Denver, Dallas, and the Lakers.

There’s more from the Southwest division:

  • While Mavericks big man Dirk Nowitzki has made no clear indications that this upcoming season will be his last, Rick Carlisle told Dwain Price of (Twitter link) that he believes there’s a real chance Nowitzki will call it quits after this campaign. If Nowitzki does indeed retire after the 2018/19 season, he will join another future Hall-of-Famer in Dwyane Wade, who announced that this upcoming season will be his last.
  • Speaking of Nowitzki, Carlisle also revealed that the 40-year-old will likely come off the bench, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link). This would pave the way for Carlisle to start Dennis Smith Jr., Wesley Matthews, Luka Doncic, Harrison Barnes and DeAndre Jordan, and would allow Nowitzki to be an offensive focal point for the Mavericks‘ bench units.
  • With the Rockets starting training camp on Tuesday, the team released the roster of players participating in camp this season. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter) pointed out that Alessandro Gentile is not on that roster, despite previous expectations and wishes for him to join the team and try to make the jump to the NBA this season. Gentile, who was drafted in the second round of the 2014 draft, has been recovering from hand surgery and will likely have to wait another year in his attempt to make it to the NBA.

Rockets Notes: Anderson, Knight, Gentile, Rosas

Trading power forward Ryan Anderson to the Suns did more for the Rockets than just shed salary, as Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle explains. Anderson didn’t have a clearly defined role with the addition of Carmelo Anthony, while acquisitions Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss could contribute, albeit in a limited fashion. As an added bonus, the Rockets only had to toss in second-rounder De’Anthony Melton instead of packaging a future first-rounder to move Anderson’s contract, Feigen continues. Though Houston tends to play mostly a three-guard rotation, Knight could emerge as the backup point guard if he beats out Michael Carter-Williams. Chriss could become part of the mix as a backup big man if he beats out second-rounders Zhou Qi and Isaiah Hartenstein, Feigen adds. The teams reached an agreement on the trade Thursday.

In other news regarding the Rockets:
  • Knight had a minor cleanup on his knee approximately six weeks ago and may not be ready for start of training camp, John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 tweets. Knight, who missed last season with a torn ACL, expects to be ready for the start of the season, Gambadoro adds. Knight is excited about the chance to play for a championship contender, Gambadoro relays in another tweet.
  • Swingman Alessandro Gentile will not join other team members during a team bonding week in the Bahamas during the first week of September because he’s still recovering from right hand surgery, according to a Sportando report. Gentile expects to be fully cleared to practice by the end of the month, the report adds. Gentile, a 2014 second-round pick who has played in Europe since 2009, recently revealed he will join the team in training camp in an uphill battle to gain a roster spot.
  • The Rockets have granted the Sixers permission to interview executive vice president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas for their GM opening. Get all the details here.

Alessandro Gentile Expected To Join Rockets For Camp

Alessandro Gentile tells Italian website BasketNet he will be in training camp with the Rockets next month. Houston owns the rights to the 25-year-old swingman after acquiring them in a draft night trade in 2014. Gentile was selected by the Timberwolves with the 53rd pick that year.

“I know that they have been following me for two years,” Gentile said.[Rockets coach Mike] D’Antoni already spoke to me in 2016 and now they want to see me.”

Gentile has been playing in Europe since 2009 and spent last season with Virtus Bologna in Italy. He’s a two-time Italian League all-star and was named Finals MVP in 2014.

The Rockets were hoping to have Gentile as part of their entry in the Las Vegas Summer League, but he needed surgery for a fractured finger on his right hand. It’s the second surgery on the hand in two years, but he says the latest procedure fixed the problem.

Gentile said he is looking forward to playing alongside Chris Paul after talking to fellow Italian Marco Belinelli about the experience. Belinelli was Paul’s teammate for two seasons in New Orleans.

Winning a regular-season roster spot may be difficult, but there should be at least one roster spot available in Houston, even after second-round pick De’Anthony Melton signs his first NBA contract.

Rockets Notes: Paul, Capela, Offseason, Gentile

Having assumed control of the Rockets last fall, new owner Tilman Fertitta is entering his first offseason with the franchise, and predictably identified re-signing free agents Chris Paul and Clint Capela as his club’s top priorities, as Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston relays (video link).

Outside of bringing back those two key players, Fertitta believes the Rockets don’t need to make major adjustments to their roster, though GM Daryl Morey will certainly do all he can to bring in reinforcements. The Rockets’ owner also expressed confidence that the club will be in position to make another deep playoff run next spring.

“We’re going to be back,” Fertitta said, per Berman (video link). “We have a great team, great coaches, and we have a great organization. You’re not going to see a lot of change over the year. You don’t mess with success.”

Here’s more on the Rockets:

  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) takes an in-depth look at Houston’s coming offseason, breaking down the possibility of the Rockets acquiring LeBron James, exploring what Chris Paul‘s next contract will look like, and explaining why Clint Capela‘s agent figures to use Rudy Gobert and Steven Adams as points of comparison for his client.
  • Capela is considered a very good bet to return to the Rockets, but Frank Urbina of HoopsHype identifies a few other clubs who could make a play for the restricted free agent this offseason.
  • After initially committing to playing on the Rockets’ Summer League roster this July, draft-and-stash prospect Alessandro Gentile will likely have to miss Summer League and the next FIBA World Cup qualifiers. As Emiliano Carchia of Sportando details, Gentile is undergoing surgery to repair a fractured finger on his right hand.
  • On Tuesday, we took a closer look at the Rockets’ cap situation entering the 2018 offseason.