Though they are currently in the playoff race in the highly competitive Western Conference, rumors still continue to circulate around Danilo Gallinari and his future with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The forward may be one of the major reasons behind the Thunder’s success but with his impending free agency, he’s currently being considered as one of the hottest commodities on the trade market.
According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, several teams have already expressed interest in acquiring Gallinari from the Thunder before the February trade deadline, including the Dallas Mavericks and the Philadelphia 76ers.
“Multiple playoff teams have expressed interest in the Thunder forward, including the Mavericks and Sixers, according to league sources. Gallinari is a potent scorer everywhere on the court, in any play type—whether he’s posting up, isolating, or in the pick-and-roll as a screener or ball handler. Though Gallinari, 31, has never been an All-Star, he’s played like one this season in Oklahoma City and last season with the Clippers. Gallinari can become an unrestricted free agent this summer, but few teams will have cap space, and most of them will be younger teams unlikely to pursue players in their 30s.”
Trading Gallinari could make a lot of sense for the Mavericks, especially after they lost Dwight Powell to a season-ending Achilles injury. He would immediately fill Powell’s position, giving Dallas an All-Star-caliber forward who can knock down shots from beyond the arc and a dominant presence under the basket.
This season, the 31-year-old power forward is averaging 19.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists while shooting 43.3 percent from the field and 40.8 percent from the three-point range. However, despite considering him as a “dynamic player” that the Mavs should pursue on the trade market, O’Connor has doubts if Dallas has enough assets to convince the Thunder to move Gallinari.
We're 11-5 since Christmas. During that span, Danilo Gallinari ran up a streak of ???????? ???????????????????????????????? ???????????????????? with at least 3 three-point FGs made. Only 2 other players in the NBA have done that in the past decade (Curry, Harden). pic.twitter.com/XykKuSgwuR
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) January 23, 2020
Meanwhile, compared to the Mavericks, the Sixers have a plethora of trade assets that will be very useful for the Thunder, especially if they finally decide to undergo a full-scale rebuild. However, it remains a big question mark if targeting a player like Gallinari should be the Sixers’ No. 1 priority before the February 6 deadline.
Though Gallinari could help them improve their struggling offense, his potential arrival in the City of Brotherly Love would create a logjam in the Sixers’ frontcourt, which already has Joel Embiid, Al Horford, and Tobias Harris. As of now, the Sixers may be better off finding ways to improve their backcourt, where they are currently in need of more ball-handling and shooting.