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Rumor: Celtics interested in Gigi Datome

In early April, Danny Ainge toured Europe to scout some talent including projected first rounders Dario Saric (who has since withdrawn from the draft) and Giannis Adetokoubo of Greece. A rumor out of Italy has a 6'9 small forward from Vitus Roma on the Celtics' radar.

not pictured: Luigi Datome
not pictured: Luigi Datome
Roberto Serra/Iguana Press

With the rumored promise to Dennis Schroeder coupled with the coupled uncertainty of Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett, Celtics fans have to take any piece of news with a grain of salt. This one comes out of Italy (using Google Translate no less):

Basketball: Datome lands in the NBA, according to the Boston Celtics

L ' wing of Virtus Roma, after a championship MVP has earned the pass to land in America and compete with the best players in the world. The captain of ACEA will be our fourth representative in the NBA, and is in addition to Bargnani (Toronto Raptors), Gallinari (Denver Nuggets) and Belinelli (Chicago Bulls).

Datome will sign with the team of Massachusetts a three-year $ 490,180 dollars, gross. The number 13 of Rome to NBA rules is a rookie and free-agent, and can sign with any team, but is not necessarily affected by the wage limits tied to years of NBA experience (in this case zero).

After this news broke on Notizie.it, Datome denied the rumors on Twitter:

Google roughly translates that to: "Today's news about my future does not have any kind of foundation. I embrace you, Peace." The specifics of his purported deal make me think that there might actually be a fire from this smoke, but nothing's official yet. Until we know what Pierce is doing AND what Garnett does AND if Doc is coming back AND who the Celtics draft at #16, the idea of bringing in a 25-year-old Italian kid is the farthest thing from Danny's mind right now.

The kid's definitely got some game though. He's a little on the thin side, but he can shoot and he's fearless driving the paint and protecting the rim. Here are some highlights in full beard, with ponytail, and sans ponytail (h/t to the CelticsBlog forum):

Gigi Datome Mix - 2013 Acea Roma - Tributo per GIGIgante! (via IL TIR)