Toronto Raptors ‘Monitoring’ the Availability of Danilo Gallinari

Oct 3, 2016; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari (8) takes a free throw against the Toronto Raptors during the third quarter at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 3, 2016; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari (8) takes a free throw against the Toronto Raptors during the third quarter at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Clippers are said to be “monitoring” the availability of Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.

With trade rumours already circulating around the Toronto Raptors and Serge Ibaka, it sounds like you can add another name to the list. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Raptors and Clippers are said to be “monitoring” the availability of Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari.

Stein writes that there is a growing belief around the league that the Nuggets are willing to move the 29-year-old forward since he is likely to decline his player option and will enter unrestricted free agency this offseason. Here’s the full excerpt from Stein:

"“Now that the Jusuf Nurkic trade we’ve been anticipating for weeks has materialized at last, league sources say Danilo Gallinari is a prime Nugget to watch between now and the trade deadline. The Raptors and Clippers are among the teams said to be monitoring Gallinari’s availability, amidst a growing belief that Denver is prepared to move him, given that the Nuggets anticipate that Gallinari will bypass the final season of his current contract (valued at $16.1 million) and join Millsap on the open market, and they don’t plan to spend big to retain the Italian.”– Marc Stein, – February 12th, 2017"

By the sounds of it, the Nuggets fear Gallinari will want too much money this summer and instead of losing him for nothing, the team will try to recoup some his value at the trade deadline.

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The problem with trading Gallinari, however, at least from the Nuggets’ perspective, is that the team is in the heat of a playoff race with the Portland Trail Blazers and it’s unlikely Denver would improve their playoff chances by trading Gallo.

Plus, Denver’s acquisition of Mason Plumlee wasn’t the kind of trade a team preparing to sell at the trade deadline would make. Also, the Nuggets have tons of cap space and could easily re-sign both Plumlee and Gallinari this summer, if they wanted too.

Another tidbit of information Raptors’ fans should keep in mind is that Gallinari has been very vocal about his love for the city of Denver and desire to retire with the Nuggets. Here’s what he had to say in an interview with Altitude’s Vic Lombardi last week:

"“I would love to end my career in Denver,” Gallinari said. “I would love to see when I’m older my jersey retired at the Pepsi Center. I would love all of that. Is it going to happen? I hope so. I don’t know.”– Vic Lombardi, Altitude Sports – February 11th, 2017"

If that isn’t convincing enough, here’s what Gallinari had to say in another interview with the Nuggets.

"“I do (want to stay in Denver). Denver is my favorite city, so hopefully I’ll be able to stay there,” Gallinari said. “It is a great city. I love the city. It’s the city where I’m going to live when I’m doine playing basketball. So I love Denver and I really hope I can stay here.”– Denver Nuggets Facebook Page – February 10th, 2017"

Does that sound like a player who would be willing to sign long-term with the Raptors? I mean, I don’t know how much more clear Gallinari can be with his desire to stay in Denver. I understand that things don’t always work out the way a player would like them too, especially in the cutthroat world of professional sports, but it sounds like Gallo is more than willing to compromise a bit and potentially take a hometown discount to remain with the Nuggets.

Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors /

Toronto Raptors

Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri is very familiar with the Nuggets organization, and he did acquire Gallinari from the New York Knicks when he was the GM of the Nuggets, but I don’t think this a trade he would be interested in making unless he is okay with a rental player who would likely only help the team on the offensive end.

If Ujiri is interested in making a deal like this, the cost would likely be Terrence Ross and one of either Bruno Caboclo, Delon Wright, Pascal Siakam or Fred VanVleet. The need for a second player in this deal is because the salaries must be within $5 million of each other and Gallinari’s contract exceeds Ross’ by $5,050,000. Although it’s a minuscule difference, it does impact any potential one-for-one deal between the Nuggets and Raptors.

Of course, the two teams could add a third team into any potential deal, which would likely need to happen, but I’ll let you fire up the Trade Machine and decide how you want to make that trade work since there are a plethora of options when you make this a three team deal.

Next: Raptors Interested in Serge Ibaka, or Someone Like Him

What do you think about the Toronto Raptors potentially acquiring Danilo Gallinari? Do you think he would be a fit on Toronto’s roster? What would you give up to acquire him? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.