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New reports of Nets’ interest in Italian Euroleague star

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Among those European stars Sean Marks scouted last month was 6’9” Nicolo Melli, a 26-year-old stretch 4 with rebounding skills. Melli, a native of Italy, plays for Brose Bamberg in the German league. Now, there are new reports that the Nets are among a small group of teams with more serious interest.

In the last few days, European hoops writers Pero Guerrini, Orazio Cauchi and Niki Bakouli have all linked Melli to the Nets.

Cauchi, who reports for Sportando and Def Pen Hoops, wrote this for Def Pen last week...

Melli will be a free agent this summer and will definitely explore the possibility of going to the NBA. So far, the Brooklyn Nets, Houston Rockets, and Denver Nuggets have expressed interest in the player, a source told Def Pen Hoops. However, the situation is still pretty fluid and other teams may show up in the next few months. If he ever was going to make the jump, this looks like as good a time as any for him.

Batouli, a writer for several other European outlets, confirmed the Nets’ interest in a tweet Tuesday morning.

And in an interview with an Italian newspaper also published Tuesday, Melli confirmed his interest in the NBA to Guerrini, but said he would talk to Brose Bamberg before talking to NBA clubs.

He told Guerrini’s TuttoSport...

"I do not want to deny any possibility, but I really do not like talking about the future. It's great that other teams are interested in me, but I have not seen anyone. My manager and I will talk to Bamberg after the season. NBA is a dream for me, but it depends on the offers coming in.

Melli did not name the NBA teams who’ve expressed interest but Tutto Sport included the Nets on their list of prospective teams.

Of course, David Pick, the Israeli writer, reported the interest while Marks was in Europe.

Marks, Pick wrote, checked Melli out in a game in late March. Pick named the Nets as well as Jazz, Suns, Knicks, Spurs, Rockets and Heat as having made recent trips to Bamberg, Germany. Pianeta Basket, an Italian hoops site, reported in November that a Nets scout attended an earlier Bamberg game.

Melli can be a streaky shooter. In November, he was named Euroleague MVP for the month, shooting 61.9 percent from deep and 62.8 overall. He has since cooled off but continues to be one of Europe’s top rebounders.