There is no denying that the Portland Trail Blazers are a great team. Even in an injury-plagued season, the Blazers managed to fight through adversity to make the NBA playoffs. Although they were knocked out of the first round by the LA Lakers, the Portland Trail Blazers showed enough quality for one to give them an outside chance of winning the NBA championship next season. The franchise doesn't have a lot of money to work with this off-season, but a few NBA trade rumors have suggested a move or two nonetheless.
In Damian Lillard, they have one of the top 10 players in the NBA right now, and another solid co-star in CJ McCollum. Jusuf Nurkic has shown flashes of Nikola Jokic in his game while Gary Trent Jr. has provided a spark off the bench they so desperately needed. It is the power forward spot that needs some help, and it should rank number one in the Portland Trail Blazers' list of priorities this off-season.
NBA Trade Rumors: Danilo Gallinari is exactly what the Portland Trail Blazers need
It's been a while since the Portland Trail Blazers had a truly great power forward in their roster. Currently, it is 22-year-old Zach Collins who turns up at the 4 for the Blazers - when he is fit, at least.
Collins was picked 10th overall in the 2017 NBA draft and was seen as the perfect modern-day stretch four. However, injuries have halted the Gonzaga product's development. This year alone, Collins picked up a shoulder injury that kept him out for a long time and then injured his ankle less than a month after returning.
When he does step on to the court, however, he is a pretty good NBA player. An excellent rim protector, Collins can also space the floor pretty well. He shot 36.8% from the three-point range in the 11 games he played this season.
However, one of his biggest problems, barring injuries, is his inability to stay out of foul trouble. With Damian Lillard already 30 and CJ McCollum soon approaching that mark, the Portland Trail Blazers need players who are ready to help them immediately.
Danilo Gallinari career statistics
Career points per game - 16.2
Career assists per game - 2.0
Career rebounds per game - 4.9
Career field goal % - 42.7%
Career 3pt % - 38.0%
32-year-old Italian forward Danilo Gallinari has developed into one of the most reliable three-point shooters in the NBA in recent years. Gallinari shot over 40% from downtown this season, on a career-high 7.1 attempts per game. This is the second season in a row where the 6'10" forward has shot over 40% from beyond the arc.
Gallinari would be perfect in a Portland Trail Blazers team whose star backcourt duo commands much of the opposing defense's attention. His duty will be to play diligent perimeter defense and to space the floor while attacking. With the number of opponents tasked with keeping Lillard in check, Gallinari will find himself open quite often on the corners. His job, thereafter, will be to simply knock the three down.
NBA Trade Rumors: How can the Portland Trail Blazers acquire Danilo Gallinari?
Danilo Gallinari is an unrestricted free agent this off-season. On paper, this should be an easy deal for the Portland Trail Blazers to make. However, as mentioned earlier, the Blazers don't have a lot of cap space to work with. Their best bet at getting the services of Gallinari is a sign-and-trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Portland Trail Blazers may need to re-sign Hassan Whiteside from free-agency themselves, only to send him straight to the OKC. On top of that, the Thunder would be happy to bag a talented player like Zach Collins if he is included in this trade. OKC are going to rebuild for the future, and any relevant assets - be it a draft pick or a young player - suits them best.
Published 26 Sep 2020, 04:00 IST