Ex Atlanta Hawks forward to lead Italy in EuroBasket

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Giuseppe Cottini/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Giuseppe Cottini/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Hawks have had a good history with European players over the years. Just last season the Hawks had more than a quarter of their roster who started in Europe, not counting either of the two-way slots. This is a fairly solid representation of European players.

One of their bigger European success stories of the last decade is Dennis Schroder. He has developed even further after he left the Hawks and is looking to lead the German national team deep into the tournament that they are co-host.

However, the Hawks have had two of these players leave the fold this season. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot is part of the French national team in the upcoming EuroBasket, a team that has a really good chance of winning the entire tournament.

Ex-Atlanta Hawks forward Danilo Gallinari will lead the Italian team in EuroBasket.

The Hawks also parted ways with Danilo Gallinari this summer, they traded him to the San Antonio Spurs in the trade of the summer which landed Dejounte Murray. He was then waived by the Spurs and signed on with the Boston Celtics, which was a childhood dream for the big man.

Still, the sharp shooting big man would love to lead his home nation to glory in Europe. This is going to be hard to achieve given that the Italian men’s national team is ranked 13th in the world, which equates to ninth in Europe.

This century the Italian team has managed to finish third in Europe once, but that was back in 2003. They did not even qualify for the 2009 tournament and then finished 17th in the next tournament which was in 2011.

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In the next three tournaments, the Italians did not finish outside of the top ten but given that they are a co-host there is hope that they can finish higher. They have some decent NBA talent on their roster but Gallinari is their best player and it will be on his shoulders as to where the Italians finish in the tournament.