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According to Chris Mannix of The Vertical, the Celtics have been making offers to the Nuggets for Danilo Gallinari, but obviously the two sides have yet to reach an agreement and almost all of that is because of the Nuggets, who reportedly have very little interest in trading Gallinari.



If you are wondering why the Celtics keep making calls on Gallinari, why the Nuggets would ever consider trading him or how the deal may get done, I offered some of my own thoughts in a trade deadline preview recently posted to Celticslife.com:

Who: Danilo Gallinari - the 27-year-old is currently enjoying a breakout season and appears to have finally recovered from his torn ACL a few years ago. His per game averages of 19.4 PPG, 5.7 RPG and 2.6 APG are the best of his career and, at 6'10, he is shooting an impressive 37% from three. With regard to Parsons, I mentioned there are not many players more perfect for Brad Stevens' offensive scheme; well, Gallinari may be one. He is clearly coming into form and is only 27. Given his 111 defensive rating per 100 possessions, he will definitely need help on the defensive end of the floor and who knows, the presence of ball-hawk defensive guards may help him improve and take his defense to another level. Plus, his offense, which the Celtics need, more than makes up for that. His offensive rating of 121 points per 100 possessions makes that very clear.

Why: This depends on where Denver wants to go next season. Here is why: they not only own their own 2016 first-round pick, which is currently projected to be sixth, but they own the Rockets and Blazers 2016 first-round picks as well, which are currently projected to be the 15th and 16th picks, respectively. If this holds up, the Nuggets will have two choices. First, they can use their picks to acquire NBA-ready players to add to the core of Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, Emmanuel Mudiay and Wilson Chandler next season. Or, they can decide the current core is incapable of winning together and use the picks to begin the process of moving in a different direction. Plus, although Gallinari loves Denver, next season is likely to be his last under his current contract because he will likely turn down the player option for the 2017-2018 season. Given his performance this season, he will likely seek and receive the max and the Nuggets may be unable to offer that. Why? Well, not only are Faried and Chandler under contract through the 2018-2019 season, taking up much-needed cap space, but they will have to begin talking extensions with Mudiay and Jusef Nurkic, who they love. There may not be enough money to go around. Since Gallinari's value may never get higher than it is now, Denver may decide to cash him in if the right offer comes around.

How: Danilo Gallinari and JJ Hickson for RJ Hunter, David Lee, Jonas Jerebko and the Nets 2018 first-round pick. Lee's contract is included to make the money work and provide the Nuggets with some needed cap space this summer. Hunter provides the Nuggets with a long-term option at SF and has already shown he is capable of contributing right away as well. Jerebko provides them with either an expiring contract this summer, or a cheap option to start in place of Gallinari next season. The Nets pick provides the Nuggets with another asset to use in improving and reshaping their roster. Boston would also be acquiring Hickson to make the money of the deal work, but also because he has fallen out of favor in Denver and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, which means he and Denver are set to part ways in a matter of months any way. Moreover, although he has fallen out of Mike Malone's rotation, he would likely find an opportunity with Brad Stevens given his per 36 numbers: 16.2 PPG, 10.3 RPG and 1.4 BPG.

Given the Nuggets rightful stubborn refusal to part with Gallinari, Danny Ainge will, in all likelihood, need to add another asset to this offer to make it work. How about:

Danilo Gallinari and JJ Hickson for RJ Hunter, David Lee, Jonas Jerebko, Dallas' 2016 first-round pick and the Nets 2018 first-round pick?

This may be the offer to finally get Denver to yes. What do you think?


Photo Credit: NBA Getty Images

Follow Max Sandgrund on Twitter @SotoSpeakz

Max Sandgrund 2/15/2016 01:57:00 PM Edit
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