Luigi Datome out of NBA, signs two-year deal in Turkey

After just two seasons in the NBA, small forward Luigi Datome is headed back to Europe, where he will play the next two seasons for Turkish team Fenerbahçe, one of the top clubs in the Euroleague. The 27-year-old Datome was originally signed as a free agent by the Pistons prior to the 2013-14 season, and became a fan favorite in Boston after coming to the Celtics at the trade deadline in February.

However, he appeared in only 18 games for the C's, making one start, and averaged 5.2 points. He was hailed by head coach Brad Stevens as the team's best shooter, and proved it by making 47.2 percent of his three-point attempts. In his two seasons stateside, he played 55 games.

Early reports this offseason indicated that Datome, now a free agent, had received several offers from top European teams, but that he had not given up on his NBA dream if he could become part of a rotation. In a lengthy Facebook post on Tuesday morning, he revealed he did receive offers from NBA teams, but no guarantee that he would play regularly. He thanked his fans but did not mention the Celtics:

At the end of my 2 years in the NBA my targets for the Free Agency were:To play at the highest level of basketball and...
Posted by Luigi Datome on Tuesday, July 14, 2015

According to, his deal with Fenerbahçe is for two years, with a team option for a third. Last year Fenerbahçe, a six-time Turkish champion, reached the Euroleague Final Four for the first time, losing to eventual champion Real Madrid in the semifinal, 96-87. Datome's new teammates include former NBAers Pero Antić, who signed on June 30, and Jan Veselý, as well as Phoenix Suns draftee Bogdan Bogdanović.

Gigi's new club welcomed him to the fold on Tuesday:

Follow Nick García on Twitter @N_A_Garcia

Image credit: Willie J. Allen, Jr./Orlando Sentinel