Danilo Gallinari gets candid on a potential return to Thunder
Gallinari, now 32 years of age, is a free agent this offseason and has said that winning a championship is more important than signing the biggest contract available. He also recently took to Twitter to ask where he should sign next.
Based on this interview, Gallinari isn’t ruling out a return to the Thunder:
I would consider it for sure. I think as a player when you have such a great time with the team, and you go through what we’ve been through this season living this amazing miracle season, of course, I’d love to run it back and spend some more time in OKC. When you have this winning season, you always want to be on a winning team, and so, of course, I’d consider it… I thought Sam [Presti] did a great job of building that team and also being on the same page as the players. He’s a guy that you can talk to him every day, and he was a guy that was very honest with me since the beginning of the season. I have a great relationship with him too.
There will surely be several teams interested in Gallinari, who’s one of the best free agents on the market this offseason. In fact, Pat Riley and the Miami Heat made a run at Gallo ahead of the trade deadline.
Gallinari will have to weigh his options, as all players in his situation do. Will he be interested in playing on a short-term deal for a competitor, or will he be looking for a lucrative long-term offer in what could be his last big contract. While he has talked about the importance of playing for a contender in the past, he acknowledged he’ll look at everything this offseason:
HoopsHype: This is a chance for you in your early 30s to get a big contract, whether it’s long- or short-term. Are you looking to lock up something long-term coming off the past two healthiest seasons in your career?
DG: That’s definitely a thought. At the same time, because we don’t know and nobody knows the dates, how it’s going to look, and what’s going to happen next season, the long-term is an option, but everything is an option. Of course, the long-term is very good, but at the same time, because of the uncertainty we’re living in, I want to see everything that’s going on.
For now, we’ll have to wait and see what sort of offers Gallinari receives, as well as his decision. Still, it sounds like a return to the Thunder is on the table, though a trade of Chris Paul certainly could change that calculus.