Oklahoma City Thunder have been better than many expected. Danilo Gallinari has played a part in that, but he’s likely to be a major name on the trade rumour mill. Gallinari is on an expiring contract, and was one of a handful of Thunder players who were likely to be traded this season. Chris Paul, Dennis Schroeder and Steven Adams aren’t on expirings, and will probable stay in OKC.
Gallinari was superb for the Clippers last season. He’s carried on in a similar manner, hitting almost 40% of his threes and scoring 18 per game. ESPN’s real plus-minus puts him 25th among power forwards, ahead of Dario Saric and Jabari Parker. Gallinari is owed over $22.5 million this year – a few teams have contracts that can easily match that.
Here are three teams that should be interested in the 6’10” Italian…
Getting the salary to work for this trade isn’t easy. Trevor Ariza would need to be included and other possible trade chips – Richaun Holmes, Nemanja Bjelica – are playing vital minutes for Luke Walton at the moment. Sacramento are yet to find their stride after injuries to De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them make a big move as they look to end their playoff drought.
Would an Ariza, Bjelica package plus a few second-round picks be enough? The Kings have plenty of second rounders, but they made need to add a first, perhaps with protections in case they miss out on the postseason.
With Andre Drummond heading to free agency at the end of the year, the Pistons are in an odd spot. Outside the top teams, the East remains wide open. Detroit are 11-18, but they’re only two back on Charlotte, who hold the final playoff spot. The Pistons are desperate to make the playoffs once again – adding Gallinari to Drummond and Blake Griffin would make for an entertaining, long frontcourt.
Tony Snell and Langston Galloway‘s contracts would be enough to get the deal done. The Thunder might not be keen on Snell’s deal running into 2020/21 – Detroit will likely have to give up a first-round pick. Whether that’s worth it for a first-round exit is up for debate, but the Pistons are a team to watch over the next few weeks.
One of the teams Detroit are looking to chase down, the Charlotte Hornets, fall into the same bracket as the Kings: Desperate for postseason basketball. The Hornets haven’t played a playoff game since 2016, and have been much better than many expected thanks to a breakout year from Devonte Graham and a solid rookie season from PJ Washington.
Marvin Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist‘s contracts more than cover Gallinari’s salary. The Hornets have picks aplenty to put into a deal for Gallinari, who would give them another perimeter threat to join one of the top 10 three-point shooting teams in the NBA.