Danilo Gallinari: 3 numbers to target for the 2019-20 season
The Oklahoma City Thunder are in an interesting place as a franchise. They have a significant amount of draft picks after trading away Paul George and are in a rebuilding process in the post-Russell Westbrook era.
The tricky part about rebuilding for the Thunder is that they still have talented veterans. It remains unknown how long Gallinari will remain with the Thunder considering how Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer recently reported that the Thunder are expected to explore trading him and Chris Paul.
But league sources fully expect the Thunder to explore trading Chris Paul and Danilo Gallinari to continue their rebuild following the Russell Westbrook and Paul George blockbusters this summer. Trading Gallinari wouldn’t be difficult, provided he’s healthy. Finding a new home for Paul will be tough. He’s 34, has an injury history, and is owed $124 million over the next three years. That deal is terrifying. Paul can help himself and the Thunder out by excelling this season. All it takes is one team to bite.
All that Gallinari can focus on heading into the season is how he can provide an impact for the Thunder. His role could change if he were to get traded during the season, but that’s beyond his control.
Here are three numbers that Danilo Gallinari should target this season.
3. Shoot Above 42 percent from beyond the arc
The perimeter shooting production that Gallinari put together during his 2018-19 campaign was the best of his NBA career. He managed to shoot 43.3 percent from deep on an average of 5.5 attempts per game. He had never shot above 40 percent from beyond the arc in a single-season during any other season.
Trying to shoot above 40 percent from deep is a goal that many players have but Gallinari seems capable of more. He showed it with the Los Angeles Clippers and trying to shoot above 42 percent from three-point range with the Thunder is a reasonable objective.
2. Average over 20 points per game
The top-scoring option on the Thunder’s current roster is Gallinari and he’s going to have to shoulder a heavier than usual role as a result. He has never averaged at least 20 points per game during any season in his career but came close on two occasions. For reference, he averaged 19.8 points in 2018-19 and 19.5 points in 2015-16.
The role that Gallinari will likely have with the Thunder should afford him the opportunity to surpass that 20 points per game threshold for the first time in his career. Putting together his best single-season scoring display at 31-years-old would be impressive.
1. Appear in close to 75 total games this season
The greatest struggle for Gallinari during his NBA career has been his inability to stay healthy. Including the 68 games that he played for the Clippers in 2018-19, he has only appeared in over 60 games within the same season. That has been problematic for his teams since his impact is often missed.
The best way for Gallinari to maximize his trade value is to stay healthy. Having a goal of playing in as close to 75 total games should be a goal for him to strive towards. It would help to dispel the concern that he is unable to stay available on a consistent basis.