The Oklahoma City Thunder’s 2019 NBA offseason suddenly turned into chaos when Paul George demanded a trade to the Los Angeles Clippers. After trading George to the Clippers in exchange for Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and multiple draft picks, Russell Westbrook informed the Thunder about his desire to reunite with James Harden on the Houston Rockets. With George and Westbrook gone, most people see the Thunder heading into an inevitable rebuild.
As of now, the Thunder are highly expected to trade some of their veterans to focus on the development of their young players in the 2019-20 NBA season. One of the top trade candidates in Oklahoma City is Danilo Gallinari. According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, the Thunder could set a “significant trade price” for Gallinari before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline.
Danilo Gallinari is expected to receive plenty of interest from NBA teams who want to boost their chance of contending for the NBA championship title next season while preserving their salary cap flexibility for the summer of 2020. One of the NBA teams who may consider getting the service of Gallinari is the Miami Heat. As Buckley noted, Gallinari would give the Heat a very reliable scoring option next to Jimmy Butler and an All-Star caliber big man who has the ability to knock down shots from beyond the arc.
“Long a tantalizing blend of size and skill, the 6’10” scoring swingman had everything fall into place last season. He not only poured in a career-best 19.8 points per game, but he also did so with a brilliant 46.3/43.3/90.4 shooting slash. He became just the eighth player in NBA history to average at least 19 points and two triples per game while shooting 46 percent from the field and 43 from deep during the 2010s. Usable as both a supersized 3 and a fast(ish) 4, he could increase the versatility of a team always open to positionless innovation.”
In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Heat will be sending a trade package including Justise Winslow, Meyers Leonard, and a 2022 second-round pick to the Thunder in exchange for Danilo Gallinari. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine. If the trade becomes a reality, it would not only benefit the Heat, but also the Thunder.
Instead of losing Danilo Gallinari in the 2020 NBA free agency without getting anything in return, the potential deal would allow the Thunder to acquire assets that could help them speed up the rebuilding process. Justise Winslow, 23, perfectly fits the timeline of the Thunder’s young core of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Terrance Ferguson, while the future draft pick that they would potentially acquire from the Heat would enable them to add another young and promising talent on their roster.