As explained by the publication on Saturday, the Raptors have several options when it comes to upgrading their roster in the midseason, though they will likely choose to sign a player with their non-taxpayer mid-level exception (MLE). Doing so could increase their chances of re-signing some of their top free agents, including guard Fred VanVleet and veteran big men Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka.
Considering where the Raptors currently stand, Bleacher Report described Gallinari as a “super ambitious” acquisition, given how the club is expected to make an attempt to sign Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo in the summer of 2021 — assuming he doesn’t ink a super-max extension before then. However, the outlet explained that Toronto might only have a chance to add the 32-year-old to its roster if no other team with salary-cap space shows interest and other contenders don’t make “lucrative” sign-and-trade offers to Oklahoma City.
“Giving him two to three years shouldn’t register as even a remote concern if he’s accepting the MLE. Cap space isn’t important until teams actually need it. The Raptors can generate wiggle room in 2021 if Giannis wants to play for them.”
As further suggested, the Raptors could also explore the option of acquiring Gallinari via sign-and-trade, as the team could offer shooting guard Norman Powell to the Thunder in order to make way for the Italian forward and his $16 million salary. It was also recommended that the organization could sweeten the deal by also offering this year’s 29th overall pick to Oklahoma City.
According to his Basketball-Reference player page, Gallinari averaged 18.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.9 assists while shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 40.5 percent from three-point range during the 2019-20 season. Bleacher Report noted that in terms of his advanced stats, he had a 47.3 free-throw attempt rate and a true shooting clip of 60.8 percent, making league scoring leader James Harden of the Houston Rockets the only other player to reach such levels or higher while playing as many minutes.
“Toronto’s half-court offense needs everything Gallo brings. Paying him, within reason, is worth the extra work it might incite later,” the outlet added.
Aside from the Raptors, the Los Angeles Lakers have been mentioned as another team that could acquire Gallinari through a sign-and-trade. As reported by The Inquisitr, one recent trade idea suggested that the Lakers could get him for a package featuring Danny Green, Talen Horton-Tucker, and this year’s No. 28 overall pick.