NBA Rumors: Sixers, Celtics Emerging As Top Landing Spots For Thunder F Danilo Gallinari, Per ‘Metro USA’

Danilo Gallinari #8 of the LA Clippers reacts after the ball goes out of bounds during the first half against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center on April 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Harry How / Getty Images

The crazy 2019 NBA offseason featured several NBA superstars leaving their respective teams to chase for an NBA championship title somewhere else. All the big names on the free agency market may have already found a new home, but several players are still expected to be traded before or during the 2019-20 NBA season. According to Matt Burke of Metro USA, one of the NBA superstars who will likely be moved before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline is Danilo Gallinari of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Danilo Gallinari is among the players that the Thunder acquired in the blockbuster deal that sent Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers. Gallinari will undeniably help the Thunder remain competitive in the post-Russell Westbrook era but as of now, the team looks committed to undergoing a full-scale rebuild. With the Thunder taking a different route, it will be best for them to trade Gallinari for assets that could help them speed up the rebuilding process instead of losing him in the 2020 NBA free agency without getting anything in return.

Once he becomes officially available on the trading block, Danilo Gallinari is expected to receive strong interest from NBA teams who want to boost their chance of contending for the NBA championship title while preserving their salary cap flexibility for the summer of 2020. As Burke noted, the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers could emerge as top suitors for Gallinari before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline.

“One of the biggest names on the trade market this winter will be Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari, as Sam Presti will surely look to get whatever he can with Gallinari’s expiring contract. Gallinari had a resurgence last season with the Clippers as he posted a career high points per game average, and he is the type of player that could put a fringe contender over the top. Two teams that will be active in the trade market to certain degrees ahead of the February deadline will be the Sixers and Celtics, who are both one more piece away from separating themselves from a sizable pack of elite teams.”

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Danilo Gallinari would undeniably be an incredible addition to the Sixers or the Celtics, giving them an All-Star caliber big man who has the ability to space the floor. Last season, the 31-year-old small forward averaged 19.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.6 assists while shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 43.3 percent from beyond the arc. Between the two teams, the Celtics could offer the best trade package to the Thunder in exchange for Gallinari.

Aside from the Celtics and the Sixers, another NBA team that could express interest in trading for Danilo Gallinari before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline is the New York Knicks. Trading for Gallinari’s expiring contract would help the Knicks open up more salary cap space, but if they once again fail to acquire their top targets in the 2020 NBA free agency, Burke believes that New York may consider bringing the veteran small forward back on a short-term deal.