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Alessandro Gentile says he’s signing with Rockets

Boston Celtics v EA7 Emporio Armani Milano

MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 07: Alessandro Gentile # 25 of Armani in action during the NBA Europe Live game between EA7 Emporio Armani Milano v Boston Celtics at Mediolanum Forum on October 7, 2012 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Roberto Serra/Iguana Press/Getty Images)

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The Rockets have been looking into signing Alessandro Gentile – the No. 53 pick in the 2014 draft – for a while.

Maybe it’ll finally happen.

Antigoni Zachari of

Alessandro Gentile will be in training camp with the Rockets next month, as the player himself revealed on Italian La Stampa.

The only way for Gentile to be in Houston’s training camp is on an NBA contract.

To keep his rights, the Rockets must offer him the required tender – a one-year contract, surely unguaranteed at the minimum. Gentile could unliterally accept that. Or he could negotiate a longer deal with Houston.

If Gentile goes to training camp in Houston, he’ll either start next season on an NBA roster or as an unrestricted free agent. Whichever team has him – the Rockets, unless they trade him – would have to keep him or waive him. Essentially, there’d be no way for Houston to still keep his rights while he plays overseas.

So, this is probably make-or-break for the 25-year-old with the Rockets. The 6-foot-7 wing brings scoring skills, but he’s not much of a 3-point shooter. Will he adjust defensively to the NBA’s size and athleticism?

Maybe Houston keeps him on the end of the roster, but this is a title-contending team. It’s hard to commit too many roster spots to developing players.

If the Rockets waive him, that wouldn’t be so bad for him. He’d become an NBA free agent, able to negotiate with any team. Maybe he’d return to Europe, but at least the door would be more open for him to join the NBA.