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The Knicks nearly acquired the rights to Italian wing Alessandro Gentile before the draft

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Three NBA teams are said to be prying his rights from the Rockets, but who is he?

Boris Streubel/Getty Images

Knicks fans were upset when the front office couldn't swing a deal for a draft pick on Thursday night. As it turns out, Phil Jackson and company were trying to an acquire a prospect ... just not one any of us had in mind. Per Sportando:

Alessandro Gentile recently told The Vertical that he wants to play in the NBA. But it is not certain that Gentile will land overseas next season.

Alessandro Gentile's rights were close to being traded to the Knicks before the NBA draft, La Gazzetta dello Sport reports.

From July 1 there are at least three NBA teams ready to acquire his rights from the Rockets and offer him a multi-year, guaranteed deal, La Gazzetta dello Sport added.

Who? The 23-year-old Gentile currently alternates between shooting guard and small forward for Olimpia Milano in Italy. He was chosen with the 53rd overall pick in the 2014 draft. He played big minutes for the Serie A champs last season, averaging 12.7 points in all competitions, but shot a woeful 24.3% from beyond the arc.

Our own Jonathan Schulman, who watched him play internationally, had this scouting report:

Gentile is a scoring machine. I love his game. Legit balled the fuck out at last years FIBA. Bit of a fuckin' terrifying wildman, but what's not to love about that. Probably like 6'7" with heft. Deserved the ball more than Danilo Gallinari. Clear deficiencies on defense (lateral movement, cement-footed) but long and like I said, maniacal. Please add that his boyish scruff needs to be shorn IMO.

Here he is from a playoff game on June 1, meaning he has played competitive basketball far more recently than any Knick:

And a Euroleague highlight package set to the hip-hop music:

No word yet on who else might be trying to pry Gentile's rights away from Houston. The Knicks might have struck out before the draft, but if they are truly interested then we may not have heard the last of this Italian wildman.