Danilo Gallinari was one of the biggest reasons why the OKC Thunder exceeded expectations last season. The veteran sharpshooter managed 18.7 points per game while going 40.5% from downtown. Now out of a contract, several NBA rumors have suggested where Gallinari could be headed but he too has some preferences.
At 32, Danilo Gallinari certainly isn't getting any younger and potentially could be looking at signing the last big contract of his career. At the same time, Gallo has never been on a contending team and the ability to chase a ring has a certain allure to it.
NBA Rumors: Danilo Gallinari not keen on re-signing with OKC Thunder
Danilo Gallinari appeared at the Festival dello Sport in Italy and spoke about his future in the NBA. As quoted by Sportlando, Gallinari was asked the following:
"Is playing for the NBA Championship more important than a contract?"
"Yes. At this time, yes. I’m not twenty anymore," Danilo Gallinari said.
This is more or less a writing on the wall for OKC Thunder who probably expected Danilo Gallinari to pursue a future elsewhere anyway with the franchise in the middle of a rebuild. Given that Sam Presti is rather open to player requests, he may even help Gallo find a contender without the latter losing out on a lot of money.
The OKC Thunder have retained Gallo's Bird Rights. This means that they can go over the salary cap to offer a decent mid-sized contract to the Italian. This also means that the Thunder can play a pivotal role in sending Gallinari to a championship team that may not have the needed cap space.
Danilo Gallinari's veteran presence
If there's one thing that Danilo Gallinari proved with OKC Thunder, it's that he can act as a vocal presence in the locker room if needed. He's a volume scorer who doesn't need too many touches of the ball anyway. He can also chip in the stretch five in a small lineup if needed. So there are many ways in which Gallo can help a contending team.
Published 13 Oct 2020, 07:33 IST