Boston Celtics Trade Rumors: Could Danilo Gallinari Deal Happen With Nuggets?

Boston Celtics trade rumors have linked the team to one particular player for three years now. Danilo Gallinari has always been on the radar for Celtics team president Danny Ainge, who controls a lot of young assets and future draft picks. Gallinari is someone who Ainge has tried to acquire in the past, but he just wasn’t able to pry him away from the Denver Nuggets. This is despite negotiations taking place several times between the two franchises.

A recent report by Forbes stated that the Nuggets are “open to moving” Gallinari before the NBA trade deadline. This isn’t too surprising as the team also has Wilson Chandler, who could easily start at small forward instead of Gallinari. Barring a trade that sends Chandler to another team, that seems to make Gallinari extremely available over the next week.

So, what could a Boston Celtics trade for Danilo Gallinari yield? In 44 games this season with the Denver Nuggets, Gallinari is averaging 17.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game. He shoots 38.1 percent from three-point range and 88.7 percent from the free throw line, giving his team a lot of weapons when he is on the floor. That could be very valuable in the postseason.

Gallinari makes just over $15 million this season and has a player option worth $16.1 million for the 2017-18 NBA season. The problem for the Nuggets is that he is expected to opt out of this deal and explore his value in free agency. If the deal that Evan Turner got is any indication of what Gallinari will soon be making, it’s not far-fetched to suggest he will soon earn more than $20 million a year.

Danilo Gallinari Dribbling For Denver Nuggets
[Image by Dan Mullan/Getty Images]

Wilson Chandler is also making a lot of money for the Denver Nuggets, with salaries of $11.2 million, $12 million, and $12.8 million over the next three seasons. That is an expensive contract for a player coming off the bench in Denver, showing why the team doesn’t really need to carry two small forwards making that kind of money. Chandler could also be available before the NBA trade deadline, averaging 15.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game this year.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Denver Nuggets just pulled off a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers to acquire Mason Plumlee. It shows that the team is interested in making a deal but not necessarily in tearing down the current roster. A report by ESPN stated that Denver is certainly open to trading Gallinari due to his pending free agency. That would save the Nuggets from losing him for nothing in return. It has led to quite a few other teams around the NBA expressing interest in a potential deal.

In addition to Danilo Gallinari getting mentioned in the Boston Celtics trade rumors, his name has also been linked to the Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets, and Toronto Raptors. All three teams could use an additional shooter, especially one that doesn’t come with a long-term contract attached to him. While this could lessen a return package for the Nuggets, it also shows that a bidding war could take place for Gallinari before the February 23 NBA trade deadline comes along.

So what could the Celtics offer in exchange for Gallinari? Well, Danny Ainge has been compiling assets for a while, so he could package several draft picks in order to get a deal done. Currently, the Celtics own the rights to the 2017 first-round selection of the Brooklyn Nets, the 2017 second-round selection of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the 2017 second-round selection of the L.A. Clippers, and the 2017 second-round selection of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Danilo Gallinari Plays Defense For Denver Nuggets
[Image by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images]

Additional future draft picks that the Celtics control includes the 2018 first-round selection of the Brooklyn Nets, the 2019 first-round selection of the Los Angeles Clippers, the 2019 first-round selection of the Memphis Grizzlies, the 2019 second-round selection of the Detroit Pistons, and the 2020 second-round selection of the Miami Heat.

A combination of those future draft picks could be enough for Danny Ainge to finally land Danilo Gallinari. This might be something that frustrates Nuggets fans, though, as the team has a good shot at making the 2017 NBA Playoffs with Gallinari as the starting small forward. For the Celtics, though, he might just be the player that could help the team contend with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the postseason. That alone might be a reason for fans of the team to get very excited that all these Boston Celtics trade rumors might finally lead to something.

[Featured Image by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]