With training camp still a few weeks away, Danilo Gallinari was in Italy this past week, and attended an event called NBA-Evolution. As relayed by Jeffrey Morton of DenverStiffs.com, Gallinari revealed at the press conference for the event that the Nuggets explored trading him at the 2016 trade deadline, but he declined the opportunity to be moved.
“In Denver I am very well,” Gallinari said, per a translation, when he was asked about the possibility of leaving Denver and potentially returning to Europe. “There was a chance last year to go to some other team before the deadline in February, but I refused. If I return to Italy would be back to Olympia but with the intention of winning, I don’t like the idea of nostalgic revisiting.”
Gallinari didn’t go into specifics, and it’s possible something was lost in translation, but as Morton observes, it sounds like the Nuggets had potential trade opportunities involving the veteran forward and asked him if he wanted to be dealt — he apparently declined. The Celtics were among the teams believed to have strong interest in Gallinari at the deadline, so he certainly attracted attention around the NBA.
Unlike teammate Darrell Arthur, Gallinari didn’t have the ability to formally block a trade at last year’s trade deadline. The contract extension he signed last August prevented him from being dealt for six months, since the raises on that deal exceeded 4.5%, but the Nuggets still had a window at the deadline to move him if they wanted to. Still, the fact that Gallinari signed that extension in the first place was an indication that he likes playing in Denver and wants to stick around there.
Gallinari remains under contract for two more years, though he can opt out of his deal next summer. He’ll earn $15.05MM in 2016/17, with a player option worth $16.1MM for 2017/18.