Danilo Gallinari addresses trade deadline, his future with Thunder
Danilo Gallinari was on the verge of being moved after the Miami Heat pulled the strings on a deal that could’ve sent him to South Beach. The Oklahoma City Thunder ultimately didn’t agree with the compensation they’d get in return and chose to keep the Italian Stallion for the remainder of the season.
Gallo joined The Daily Thunder podcast and shared some of his emotions going into the trade deadline:
“I really wanted to stay to stay here,” said Gallinari. “[It would be] tough to leave such a great atmosphere, great teammates, a group that is winning… I wanted to stay.”
The marksman has an expiring $22.6 million contract and could re-sign with the team in the summer if he’s viewed as a building block for the future. The Chris Paul experiment has worked out better than expected, and OKC is also giving young Shai-Gilgeous Alexander plenty of run and getting strong production from Dennis Schroder.
Gallo hopes to remain with the team but will have to do some waiting before a deal can come together:
“I hope so,” said Gallinari. “It’s not the time now to talk with the team. But in the summer, it’s going to be interesting for me… Definitely, it could be a great option for me to stay here.”
The 31-year-old could also be returning to the playoffs if OKC stays on track, drawing a potential matchup with his former team, the Denver Nuggets, but now on the other side of the fence after the Thunder eliminated his Nuggets in 2011. Gallo is looking forward to it:
“I honestly can’t wait,” said Gallinari. “I remember that feeling coming here and playing against, and I don’t want to have that feeling again. I want to have that feeling playing for OKC. It’s going to be crazy.”
The hot-shooting forward is averaging 19.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in one of his best NBA seasons.