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Insider

Italian prospect Bargnani 'the real deal,' says coach

6/22/2006

BOLOGNA, Italy -- They call him "Il Mago" (the Magician).

Among the top prospects for the 2006 draft, Italian forward Andrea Bargnani is the mystery man, mostly unknown to NBA fans, who have heard more hype than facts.

His fans believe in the Magician. Critics warn that Bargnani and his supposed upside could vanish before their eyes, just as another Benetton player, Nikoloz Tskitishvili, never lived up to expectations after Denver drafted him in 2002.

Andrea Bargnani is not Nikoloz Tskitishvili.