With reports coming out about all of the players that the Denver Nuggets are ready to trade, it’s obvious that they are ready to begin building around their youth. Of course, who wouldn’t when you have guys like Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, and Emmanuel Mudiay to build around. That being said, Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler are two guys that are being dangled in trade talks.
Danilo Gallinari, specifically, is an interesting asset, who could help a lot of teams by playing on the wing as a three or a stretch four. Lately, as he’s seen increasing playing time over his last few seasons, he’s been producing more and more in the scoring department. His health, however, will be a factor, but contending teams may still consider him a good enough risk.
Therefore, with the trade deadline looming, let’s take a look at the three teams who could use Gallinari’s services the most.
1. Los Angeles Clippers
If there’s a wing player on the market, the Clippers should be the first team that comes to mind every single time. Every season, the key ingredient that everyone talks about when it comes to the Clippers, is the small forward. The big three of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan has just needed that fourth man to put them over the edge. Doc Rivers and company sure have tried with the likes of Wesley Johnson, Matt Barnes, a past-his-prime Paul Pierce, and Luc Mbah a Moute, but they still have something missing.
Enter Gallinari. All of a sudden, the opposing team’s defense is stretched even thinner with another outside threat on the perimeter along with J.J. Redick. Griffin and Jordan may find a little more breathing room in the paint, and Chris Paul has another option on pick and rolls. Oh, let’s not forget an option for small ball with Griffin at center and Gallinari at the four as well.
2. Houston Rockets
Trevor Ariza and Corey Brewer are the only small forwards listed on Houston’s roster. Not exactly a duo that screams title contender. Especially when you factor in the fact that Brewer doesn’t play that often anymore, and we see Harden plus the guards running most of the offense.
One thing we know about Houston’s offense is that they live and die by the three. The mantra is very well noted during a lot of broadcasts, and this offense has helped them secure a 40-18 record so far. Danilo Gallinari has been hovering right around the 38-39% range from the beyond the arc this season. That’s a better mark than both of the current small forwards on the Rockets, and would be around third or fourth best on the entire team. Adding Gallinari would almost be like a plug-and-play option for Mike D’Antoni’s offense, and it would catapult them to an even higher powered team.
3. Indiana Pacers
Finally, a team in the East that could maybe trade for a scorer in the West so that the power balance can tilt back between the conferences. The Pacers could use someone to take a little heat off of Paul George on the wing. Someone who can score with the ball in his hands, and can hit a shot off of a screen. Also, someone that isn’t named Rodney Stuckey. They even have been putting up their first round pick in trade deals, and that’s exactly what Denver is looking for.
If Indiana was able to land Gallinari, he would become the team’s second leading scorer behind Paul George, while landing the top four in terms of three-point percentage. They will have to part with some picks if they want to keep the main core of the team intact. That shouldn’t be an issue, if you’re adding another starting caliber wing. Gallinari could play the part of the stretch four with Myles Turner at center, and that would mean Thaddeus Young gets time to abuse the bench squad of opposing teams. When push comes to shove, the move could potentially make Paul George happy and make him want to re-sign with the team.