With all that went down on deadline day, it's easy to overlook the fact that the Miami Heat actually failed to land Oklahoma City Thunder veteran forward Danilo Gallinari. It almost sounded like a done deal some 24 hours ago, but for some reason, the trade fell through at the last minute.
ESPN's Zach Lowe sheds some light on the matter. According to the NBA insider, the biggest roadblock was failing to have Gallinari sign an extension on his current deal that expires at the end of the season.
It appears Miami would not push enough chips into the middle of the table unless Gallinari, a free agent this summer, agreed to an extension as part of the trade.
This is exactly what the Heat did when they traded for Andre Iguodala from the Memphis Grizzlies, with the three-time NBA champ signing a new deal that will keep him in Miami until 2022. The Heat front office obviously wanted a similar arrangement in place for Gallinari, and when this did not come into the fold, the deal was effectively off.
Miami's motivation behind their persistent prerequisite all boils down to the star-studded free agent class of 2021. Headlined by the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George, the Heat have every intention of joining in on the action. Acquiring the expiring deals of Iguodala and Gallinari would have been counterproductive to this objective.
Nonetheless, Miami is still entering the second half of the season with a much more formidable squad. Missing out on Gallinari may have been a significant blow, but probably not one that will be enough to mess up their chances for making a serious run at this year's title.