Eurobasket 2013: Detroit Pistons Rookie Luigi Datome Leads Italy to Victory

Luigi Datome Pistons Dumars

Rick Osentoski – USA Today Sports Images

Earlier in the NBA off-season, the Detroit Pistons agreed to a two-year, $3.5 million deal with Italian forward Luigi Datome. Datome, who has been playing professionally overseas since 2003, should see some reserve minutes for the Pistons in the upcoming season and will be expected to provide an offensive lift to Detroit’s bench unit.

Datome showed off his offensive capabilities on Wednesday while playing with Italy in Eurobasket 2013. As his Italian team upset an extremely talented Russia squad by a final score of 76-69, it was Datome who led the way for the Italians.

Playing 35 minutes, Datome led all scorers with 25 points. Datome notched his 25 points in an efficient manner as he went 9-13 from the field, including 3-4 from long-range, while also knocking down all four of his attempts from the charity stripe. For good measure, Datome also added eight rebounds, two assists and a steal on the day.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Datome can compete well against some of the best players in Europe and the world. At just 25 years old, he’s been playing in Europe since he was around 16 years old; that’s long enough to develop an elite skill level if it’s ever going to happen.

Datome obviously won’t come into a starting role with the Pistons also signing Josh Smith this summer, but he will help solidify their reserves, possibly giving them a reliable option on the wing off of the bench. If Datome can show similar offensive prowess in the NBA that he showed on Wednesday and possibly provide help on the boards, there’s no question that he can have a long and productive career in the Association.

Cody Williams is a Senior Writer with Rant Sports. Follow Cody on Twitter @TheSizzle20, add him on Google and like his Facebook page.

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